For most people a typical work day starts at 9 a.m. This is not the case for current Unified Lightweight World Champion Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez and former Three-Time Lightweight World Champion Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz, who start their days at 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. respectively while they are making preparations to meet in Marquez vs. Diaz II "Fight of the Year: The Rematch," on Saturday, July 31 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Marquez starts his day running in his native Mexico City at 4 a.m. Diaz is on the Stairmaster by 6 a.m. at the Savannah Boxing Club in hometown of Houston, Texas followed by 45 minutes of lifting weights. Both then eat breakfast before starting their intense training sessions with Nacho Beristain and Ronnie Shields, their respective trainers. Both fighters end up in the gym for boxing training at the same time at 11:30 a.m. (both Central Time).
For Juan Manuel Marquez, it's training as usual as the champion feels that he doesn't need to change what has been working throughout his career. After his morning runs, he returns home for breakfast and relaxes with his family before heading to his gym, arriving by 12:15 p.m. to train for two hours with his esteemed trainer Nacho Beristain. He then sits in a hyperbaric chamber for two hours before returning home.
"I am following my past preparations that have proven to work for me," Marquez said. "My work so far has been with the same energy and dedication that I approach every fight. It feels good to be back at a weight that is comfortable for me which allows me to train at the right intensity and allows my body to get in fighting shape more easily."
Although Marquez comes from a legendary boxing family, he credits his success in the ring to hard work and dedication in the gym, and not his gene pool.
"Coming from a boxing family does not give me an advantage," said Marquez. "The advantage is discipline and the training I put in every day."
Juan Diaz has added a few new faces to his camp since he first fought Marquez on February 28, 2009, including a new dietician and swim coach. Diaz has regimented his diet to organic foods to boost energy and stamina for training.
However, his longtime trainer and most familiar camp member is his legendary trainer Ronnie Shields, who has worked with the best of the best including Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Vernon Forrest and Pernell Whitaker and has been with Diaz for 30 fights. Diaz is working on being patient in the ring with Shields' guidance. He knows that for this fight, he is going to have to carefully place his punches as opposed to going out and swinging.
"It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with a trainer of Ronnie's caliber and our relationship has been solid ever since we started working together early in my career," Diaz continued.
"I am fortunate that he lives here in Houston and that I get to work with him. Consistency in training is important to me and although I have added people that will help with my nutrition and conditioning, Ronnie's place in my camp stays the same."
"This time around I am thinking more about where my punches need to land as opposed to throwing them in clusters and hoping they go where they should," said Diaz. "I am going to use my head more and I am going to be smarter. My team is really helping me take my time to target my punches."
On February 28, 2009, Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz collided in the ring in what was voted as Fight of the Year by ESPN.com, the Boxing Writers Association of America and several other boxing organizations. Marquez came out on top with a ninth round knockout, but Diaz proved that he has what it takes to beat Marquez as he made his mark early in the fight.
In order to keep his winning attitude, Marquez is approaching July 31 as if the first meeting never happened.
"The first fight is in the past," said Marquez. "Diaz could completely change his style for this fight. I know this requires preparing differently and those differences will be reflected when I step in the ring this time around."
Diaz, who started out strong in the first fight, knows what he needs to do in order to come out victorious.
"This time I am going to be more relaxed," said Diaz. "I have already done this on a big world stage, so I know what it feels like. I am concentrating on what I am going to do in the fight. I need to outsmart him. I can't fight recklessly. I need to focus on what punches I throw."
Diaz has studied the first fight and is extremely motivated to become World Champion again.
"The first fight was my fight to win and I didn't," said Diaz. "When you leave something undone, it is a terrible feeling. I want nothing more than to be World Champion again and I know what I need to do to get there."
After penning an op-ed piece for the Houston Chronicle that eloquently described his thoughts on freedom and why the Fourth of July means so much to him and his family, Juan Diaz celebrated the holiday with an appearance at the Freedom Over Texas Fourth of July Festival, which was attended by thousands of people and is known for having the largest land-based fireworks display in the country.
Diaz, who was a guest of Houston Spanish radio station Mega 101, felt honored to be recognized as a Houston Champion in front of so many people. After being announced on stage, Diaz introduced a hugely-popular Hispanic band La Orquesta Salmerum and signed autographs for fans.
In Marquez and Diaz's most recent respective fights, they moved up in weight and they both feel that it was not the right move for them. Now they are both back at 135 pounds and are confident that fighting at that weight is right where they are suppose to be.
"At 147 I felt very heavy," said Marquez who moved up in weight to fight Floyd Mayweather in September 2009. "Welterweight was just too much weight for me. I know that now."
Losing the weight has been a gradual process, but Marquez is taking the precautionary measures to move down to the weight at which he is most comfortable.
"I am taking it day-by-day, slowly and carefully," continued Marquez. "Losing weight is something that must be done cautiously. However, it is not just about losing the weight. It is about making sure that I come to the fight with that same intensity and conviction that I always do once I reach my target weight."
Diaz, has less weight to lose, but is still looking forward to fighting at 135 pounds.
"I didn't feel right at 140," said Diaz, who fell short against Paulie Malignaggi in December 2009 at that weight. "I am ready to be back where I feel the most comfortable and come out strong on July 31."