Boxingtalk was able to speak to undefeated WBA lightweight champion Juan "The Bull" Diaz a week after he made his third title defense on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights. Diaz stopped previously unstopped Billy Irwin and sent him to the canvas for only the second time in his long career. Juan shared with us his thoughts on his performance as well as what he learned from he fight. In his next fight Diaz is slated to face Ebo Elder who is coming off an impressive win himself, also on ESPN2, against Courtney Burton. See what "The Bull" had to say about facing Elder, Julio Diaz' reluctance to face him and the latest on the WBA belt that was stolen from a team members car. Jose Aguirre: Congratulations on your third title defense. How do you feel a week after the fight?
Juan Diaz: "I feel real happy right now. I'm very excited with the way my career is going. It's going real, real good. I'm just very happy with everything I have accomplished so far."JA: You went in there and did what everyone expected you to do. What did you learn coming out of this fight?
JD: "At the beginning I was throwing alot of punches. Just throwing and throwing. I learned that sometimes I may have to change my strategy. Lke when I was in the corner Ronnie (Shields) was telling me not to throw so many punches because we had alot of rounds to go. So I started using my jab and started to slow down on the number of punches I was throwing. Using my jab and just picking the guy apart."JA: Was there anything that Billy Irwin did during the fight that surprised you?
JD: "No. It worked out perfect. The same way I saw him fight on tape is the same way he came out and fought me. It was just a great fight for me."JA: When you had Irwin down in round 2 did you think it was only a matter of time before you stopped him?
JD: "I did. I was surprised because he's only been knock down once and he's never been knocked out. I was surprised that he went down at that point in the fight and I did think that I was going to take him out right away. Man, he took alot of punishment and he took a good punch." JA: What's the next move for Juan Diaz?
JD: "They have already set up a match between Ebo Elder and myself on April 23rd in Las Vegas?JA: Share with me your feelings about being able to defend your title against Ebo Elder who is coming off of a spectacular showing against Courtney Burton?
JD: "It's a great fight for me. It's not the fight I wanted. The main fight I wanted was against one of the current lightweight champions Julio Diaz. He didn't accept so we have to move on and keep fighting."JA: Speaking of the champions, what do you think of the champions in your division?
JD: "I have much respect for them because I know the hard work it takes to become a world champion. If you become world champion. And I have alot of respect for them for being champions."JA: How has it been working with Ronnie Shields in the gym and how has he been for you in that corner?
JD: "It's been real good. When I step into the ring I always have this big sense of confidence because of who Ronnie is. He knows about boxing and the game. If at one point in the fight I'm behind or I'm in trouble then I can count on him to get me out of trouble by telling me what I can do to do better in the fight."JA: What are you expecting when you face Ebo Elder?
JD: "He's a southpaw and I know I only fought one southpaw since I turned professional. I know it's going to be a tough fight because he throws alot of punches. He comes forward and I believe it's going to be one of the best fights possibly this year."JA: On a different note. As we all know your WBA belt was stolen. Has there been any word on the return of your belt?
JD: "No. Actually no. They stole that belt. One news reporter from a local newspaper called me up and told me that they recieved a call, I don't know if it was a joke or what, but they called and said they had the belt and they were going to put it on eBay. Besides that I haven't heard anything. My manager is going to call the WBA and i should recieve another one in about two weeks."JA: Does the WBA charge you for that belt?
JD: "I'm not sure. I'm not sure about that."JA: Is there anything you want to say to the boxing public all around the world and on Boxingtalk.com?
JD: "I just want to thank them for all their support throughout my professional years. I developed a great fan base all around the world. I just want to thank them all for their support. Even though they can't be there physically I know mentally alot of people are hoping and praying that I win and I come up."JA: Thanks for your time.
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