Juan Diaz will make the second defense of his WBA lightweight title when he faces Billy Irwin, a veteran with a 42 and 5 record. Diaz won the title when he bested Lakva Sims in a twelve round showcase of skills, determination, youth and stamina. He followed it up with a first defense against Julien Lorcy, a fighter with more than 50 fights under his belt. Juan Diaz continues to take on tough challenges and promises every step he takes will be a step up in competition hopefully leading to future unification bouts with the other champions. "OnFire" Aguirre had the chance to speak with Juan Diaz as he shared his thoughts on his upcoming fight, his opponent, the other champions and what he has planned for the future. You don't want to miss what he had to say.
Jose Aguirre: You have a fight on January 21st against Billy Irwin, how's training going for that fight?
Juan Diaz: "Training is going pretty good. I've been doing my usual workouts. Training hard like always. I have two sparring partners and no injuries so far, everything is good."
JA: You're fighting a veteran with fourty two fights, what do you know of him and what do you expect from him?
JD: "I know he's a tough guy. He can take alot of punches and in his last few fights he hasn't been looking very impressive but I know not to expect that from him because he knows this is his big opportunity fighting for the championship of the world. I know he's going try to come in tremendous shape and try to take me belt way."
JA: What do you plan to do to neutralize what he brings ino the ring?
JD: "Ronnie Shields and Richards, my two trainers, have been working on a strategy to use my jab and staying away from his left hook because he has a strong left hook. Try to outpunch him since I'm younger and I think I'm going to have the speed and stamina on him. We're going to use those two factors as an advantage."
JA: It seems since winning the title you have been staying busy with tough opponents. Is that something that you plan to keep doing?
JD: "Yeah that's the plan, to stay active fighting every three to four months because I want to keep improving and eventually sometime this year start to unify the division."
JA: You have some good champions in your division (Corrales, Castillo, Diaz) and others that have moved up (Casamayor), what do you think of these guys and which one would you like to face the most?
JD: "They are all good fighters. When the time comes that my promoter and manager say it's time to face one of these guys they're the one that are going to make that decision. Whoever they think I have a better chance against that's the guy they're going to put me against. I'm going to trust them in that they're going to make the right decision that whoever I face will be the right guy for me to fight."
JA: And are you confident that you can step up to the plate and face anyone of these champions?
JD: "Right now I'm very confident because I have one of the top trainers in the game, Ronnie Shields. He's brought alot to the table and he's taught me alot. I think that him along with the rest of the team that's working with me I believe I have great chances of beating those guys."
JA: What can we expect from you come Jan 21st when you step into the ring with Irwin?
JD: "You can expec to see a stronger Juan Diaz. A quicker Juan Diaz. A Juan Diaz that's ready to fight the other champions. That's ready for the other guys in his division."
JA: What do you plan to bring to the world of boxing this year?
JD: "What I plan to bring to the world of boxing this year are great, exciting fights. I think that this is going to be a good fight for the people. After thsi fight I plan on stepping it up a little bit and fighting better known guys and better recognized guys that been around for a while and that alot of the public knows. People can expect exciting fight from Juan Diaz."
JA: Is there anything you want to say to the boxing public and the members of Boxingtalk.com?
JD: "I want to thank them for all their support that they've given me and shown me in 2004. It was great. I became champion in 2004 and especially I want to thank the Houston fans for going to the Reliant Center and supporting me in my championship victory."
JA: Thank you for your time.
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