The 135 lb steamroller that is Juan Diaz continued to move forward last night, grinding out another punishing victory to retain his WBA and WBO Lightweight titles and also gain the IBF crown by forcing Julio Diaz to quit on his stool after the eighth round at Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, IL.
The IBF Champ had some success in the early rounds, scoring well with quick bursts to the head and body of Juan Diaz but the Houston based double titlist was undaunted and continued to work on his foe with both hands.
Juan continued to close the distance and began to chip away at Julio's stern resolve but was still paying the price at times for the ground gained, eating snappy counter shots upstairs.
With Juan keeping up the kind of high stamina pace that he's become known for, Julio was unwillingly drawn into a slugfest as the two champions went at each other tooth and nail.
The middle rounds saw intermittent trench warfare anytime Julio stopped his footwork, which suited the high energy Juan time and time again.
By the eighth frame, Julio appeared out of answers in the attempt to keep his antagonist off and was warned for use of the head during the savage inside fighting that characterized the round.
When the bell rang for the ninth, Julio Diaz's, 34-4 (25), corner elected to keep their man on the stool and Juan Diaz, 33-0 (17), was awarded the stoppage victory.
Afterward the 24 year old winner called out top super feather Manny Pacquiao.
Also on the bill, ex-heavyweight champion John Ruiz, 42-7-1 (29), stopped Otis Tisdale, 25-19-1 (15), in the second and in a battle of prospects, heavyweight Mike Mollo, 19-1 (12), brushed aside Art Binkowski, 16-2-3 (11), also in the second round.
Polish lightweight Matt Zegan, 37-4 (21), was another victim of the second round plague as he was stopped by Damian Fuller, 30-4-1 (14).