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Exclusive Boxing Interview: Juan Diaz

 Juan Diaz Exclusive Boxing Interview: Juan Diaz
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WBA Lightweight Champion, Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz 30-0 (15), will defend his title against Fernando Angulo 18-3 (12) on November 4, 2006 at Chase Field, in Phoenix, AZ.

This fight will be the first bout that Diaz will be working under his new promoter Don King. In an exclusive interview we had the opportunity to discuss his new promotional contract, his goals over the next year and the possibility of fighting within other weight divisions.

Saddoboxing: The first thing I would like to talk about is your promotional change from Main Events to Don King. There have been a lot of different reports in the media that you had an agreement with Golden Boy Promotions at first and backed out of that to go with Don King. Can you elaborate on what transpired?

Juan Diaz: That was a situation in which we had agreed (with Golden Boy Promotions) but it came down to Don King offering the better deal out of the two; as far as fights, money, everything was better with Don King so that’s why we decided to go with him.

SB: I have seen a few different details of the contract. Can you confirm that the contract is for a three fight deal?

JD: Yes, we have agreed and the contract has been sent back and forth between my manager and Don King, my manager and the lawyer and Don King and his lawyer but the promotional contract is not signed yet. It is suppose to be for three fights, one year. But it hasn’t been signed yet. The only thing that has been signed has been the fight for November 4th.

SB: Will the fight from November 4th be part of the three fight contract or will it be something on its own?

JD: It’s going to be something on its own. It was originally scheduled to be part of the three fight deal but we haven’t agreed on the promotional contract yet, it’s just going to be a thing on its own.

SB: Obviously the contract was good for you financially, are there any other stipulations such as guarantees of unification bouts or that all your bouts are televised? Were there any other specifics that were important to you?

JD: Yes, one of the things that he mentioned is that we would have a fight in January hopefully on Pay Per View. He hasn’t thought about an opponent for January but he says he wants to put me in a big fight after the January fight and that’s what we want to hear. I think it is time now for me to move up.

SB: Is there any specific fighters that you would like to go after your November 4th bout. It seems other fighters in the division are starting to look at going up in weight, maybe leaving the division open. Last time we spoke you had mentioned that you were comfortable at this weight class and perhaps staying there for some time, is that still your plan?

JD: Yes sir that’s my plan to stay in the division. But it seems like the division has gone down a lot now that Castillo and Corrales are going to move up. The thing is that I wanted to fight those guys but I didn’t get a chance to because they were having rematches with each other. But now Casamayor is the main guy in the division, in a way I am kind of afraid to ask for a fight with him because back in July when I was looking for a fight, I ended up fighting Jose Cotto, Miguel Cotto’s brother, but we offered Casamayor a fight with me on that show. It was on the undercard of Mayweather v Zab Judah and he did not accept. So, I am kind of trying to see if he would accept this time to try and unify the titles.

The division has kind of gone down now and the only opportunity that hopefully may come out of this is that I may fight Casamayor or guys like Jesus Chavez can fight me and that could create big, big fights. In other cases maybe Morales, Pacquiao and Barrera might decide to move up after their fights so maybe hopefully that will happen and get the division going again.

SB: Do you think there will be any bad blood towards the Golden Boy group with some of the people they promote like Jesus Chavez, do you feel that because of the negotiations that went sour in their eyes that they might be reluctant to give you the fight with Chavez?

JD: I think so, that’s a big possibility but I am with Don King and Don King is one of the biggest promoters in boxing so if he wants to put on the fight he will definitely make it happen.

SB: You mention Corrales and Castillo moving up in weight. What do you think of their recent events of not making weight for their major fights?

JD: I think that they should know what they are doing. Like myself, I try to be a week before the fight maybe three pounds away from my weight and the most is five pounds away from my weight. We as fighters have a responsibility to know what our weight is and what we can and can not do so I think it is up to us whether we are going to make it or not. Like Corrales will say the night before they thought he was going to make it, when you are one or two days away and you are five pounds away I don’t think you are going to make it.

SB: Have you ever had any problems making the weight limit?

JD: No, I have never had any problems making the weight I have always felt comfortable up to this point right now and if I ever do feel like I am having problems than I will definitely move up before I have to loose my belt on the scales.

SB: If you were not able to get the fights that you wanted could you chase fighters like Castillo and Corrales up into the next weight class? Can you fight at Light Welterweight as effectively as you do now?

JD: I think that by next year if I get the fight in November and January under my belt and I have to do that I definitely will because I am going to be chasing the better fights and the well known guys. Even if I have to drop the weight then I am going to try it out and see if I can do it and if I can go down to the 130s to fight guys like Morales, Barrera or Pacquiao that is a possibility that I may decide to take as well.

SB: Any interest in fighting your old stable mate Rocky Juarez?

JD: At this point no, I never had any intentions or even though about it. I know he moved up to the 130s and it wouldn’t benefit us to fight each other. I am pretty sure it would benefit him because I am the champion but it wouldn’t benefit me none.

SB: As far as your upcoming bout with Fernando Angulo how much do you know about him?

JD: I had never heard of him until they mentioned me to him and I have seen two tapes of him. I would compare him to Ricardo Mayorga they have real similar styles with how they throw their punches and move and everything.

SB: Are you still taking classes while you are training?

JD: Yes I am on Tuesday and Thursday. I was taking classes Monday through Thursday but its different switching promotional companies because Main Events did things one way and Don King does it another way. Don King had me flying all over the country and I had to drop two of my classes so right now I am currently taking one class.

SB: What do you think your work load will be going into the next semester are you going to still continue to take classes?

JD: Yes, even if I have to take one class a semester that is what keeps me motivated, that’s what keeps me going a lot of the days. When I get home from the gym I am tired and I go and take a little nap and a couple hours, later I feel better so instead of me going out to the streets and doing something I am not suppose to I just go to school.

SB: Just a couple more questions back on the subject of your promotional change. Were there any negative emotions when you left Main Events?

JD: No, actually they were real great about the whole situation. They said they could not match the offers that other promoters were making and they wish they could. If they could they would match it, they wished me the best of luck and that if things were better for them in the future we could possibly work together again.

SB: With your three fight deal that you are about to sign off where would you like to be when that concludes? Do you have specific goals you would like to accomplish in that time?

JD: I think that at the end of the three fight deal I would like to be more recognized and if possible would have fought one of the top known guys in the sport of boxing in the division whether it be Lightweight, Super Lightweight or Junior Lightweight. I am willing to do anything I need to do in order for my name to get out there for me to be recognized and after this three fight deal I want my name to be on top. I want to try to fight all the top guys in the world.

SB: I appreciate your time and wish you continued success and the best of luck in November.

JD: Thank you very much.

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