Exclusive Interview: Roberto Diaz

By Brad Cooney

29/09/2006

Exclusive Interview: Roberto Diaz

Boxingtalk.com sat down with Marco Antonio Barrera's chief adviser Roberto Diaz and discussed Barrera's recent World-title Defense against Rocky Juarez. In this exclusive interview, Diaz responds to recent comments made by Rocky Juarez that questioned the way in which Barrera fought against Juarez. Diaz also makes it clear that the only fight that really makes sense to Barrera right now is a rematch against Featherweight Kingpin Manny Pacquiao.


BT - Roberto give me your thoughts on Marco's performance against title challenger Rocky Juarez.

RD - First of all what Marco did was planned in training. The strategy was to take this young kid to school, and put on a clinic. Marco put on that clinic, he hit, and he didn't get hit. Marco was not going to fight at Rocky's level this time. The first fight Marco boxed at Rocky's level, he traded punches with Rocky, and we said that this time in the second fight we need to bring Rocky to Marco's level, Marco is the World Champion. Marco said it from the get go that he was going to take him by the hand, and that he was going to take him to school, and that is exactly what he did.

BT - Roberto, Rocky Juarez punches like a freight train, how much did that have to do with Marco's new game-plan against him?

RD - I am not going to sit here and say that Rocky doesn't hit hard, but Marco has fought people that have hit harder, Morales for one, Manny Pacquiao, and more. It was not the reason why we changed strategy, if you watched the first fight, Marco's jab never missed. We took that into the second fight, we knew we couldn't miss him with the jab. Rocky has a lot to learn as far as versatility. Rocky kept following Marco, and in reality, he was taken to school.

BT - Robert, what's next for Marco Antonio Barrera ?

RD - Marco has wanted a rematch with Pacquiao since 2003, but the scheduling of both Marco and Manny made this difficult. Manny has a big fight coming up against Morales that he needs to get by. If Manny gets by Morales, the fight that everybody wants to see is the Barrera vs Pacquiao rematch.

BT - Win, lose, or draw against Erik Morales, is Pacquiao the guy that's on Barrera's radar next ?

RD - Manny Pacquiao has been on Marco's radar since 2003, so Possibly win, lose, or draw Marco wants Pacquiao next. This is the guy that put the thorn into Barrera's side, and he wants to get it out. If Manny Pacquiao gets blown out by Morales, and the fans still want to see Barrera vs Pacquiao, then I believe that Marco will still want Pacquiao next.

BT - Do you see Marco fighting a stay busy fight before a Pacquiao fight ?

RD - 2007 will be the end of Barrera's career. I don't see many more fights in Marco's career, so at the most, I see 2 more fights. A fight with Pacquiao earlier in the coming year, and a possible third fight after Barrera beats him to give him a rubber-match.

BT - With that said, if Marco only plans on two more fights and he wants Pacquiao both times, the last opponent of his Hall of Fame career will be against Manny Pacquiao.

RD - Ultimately it all falls on Marco's promoter.

BT - Marco during my last interview with Barrera, Marco went on the record and told me that his second fight against Juarez had become personal. A few weeks after my interview Marco did another interview with a different website where he was asked to comment about that. Barrera discredited the comment that he made here on Boxingtalk, so I would like to give you an opportunity to clear this up. Why would Marco Antonio Barrera go on the record and say that the second fight against Juarez had become personal, then deny that he made the comment in a different interview ?

RD - Marco said that he "personally" wanted the second fight. The point he was trying to make was that he personally wanted a rematch against Juarez to erase any controversy. I think Marco may have misunderstood the question. I think Marco misunderstood the translation, and or the terminology of the world "personal".

BT - Barrera wants Pacquiao next Roberto, that's the bottom line (laughs).

RD - That's the fight that the world has been waiting for. That is the fight that the fans want to see, and that's the fight that has to happen in 2007, it's a fight in the making. I heard a couple of days ago that Bob Arum said that Manny Pacquiao vs Morales will put on a great show come November, not like the embarrassment that was put on last weekend, meaning Marco Antonio Barrera vs Rocky Juarez. I want to say that the embarrassment would be showing up for the weight, and not making the weight. Marco made weight, defended his title, put on a boxing clinic, and he showed that you can win two ways, you can go in there toe to toe, or you canĀ  go in there and box.

BT - I believe Barrera has 17 years of wars, and if he so chooses to fight a strategical fight, he has earned it.

RD - Thank you for saying that, and I hope the fans see it that way. You can't go to war in every fight, and We as a team watched the video, and saw a great fight the first time. The fans expected a war the second time, they saw a few wars on the under-card, and were expecting a war with Barrera vs Juarez the second time, but we planned a different strategy. Marco cruised to a victory, and we had no doubt that he would do exactly that.

BT - When you look back at Marco's career, how would you like the fans to best remember him.

RD - As a fighter that fought for them. A fighter that regardless if you lose, there is an opportunity to come back better than ever. Marco had to overcome many things in his life, and he's come back stronger every time. I would like them to remember Marco as a fighter that never quit, and always came back stronger and better.

BT - You have known Marco a long time, tell the fans something that they don't know about Marco.

RD - A lot of people see these guys as un-reachable. The people that meet Marco are surprised at how humble, and simple of a man he is. Marco is a very, very humble man. Marco doesn't make a lot of announcements, and he does not advertise what he does for people. Marco visits people in hospitals and visits people with cancer. Marco visits with patients who only have days to live. Marco loves to work with kids, he spends a lot of time with the kids in Mexico. Marco rescued a kid from the streets, taught him how to box, and that kid recently won the Golden Belt tournament in Mexico. This kid's name is Adrian Tellez, he was basically lost, and in gangs, and on drugs.

BT - Roberto it's always a pleasure having you in, is there anything that you would like to say to the fans in closing ?

RD - I want to thank Boxingtalk for having me. I want to let the fans know that Marco Antonio Barrera is not done, and I think they realize that now, especially after his performance against Rocky in the second fight. Marco has one really good year left, and we will make the best out of it.

M

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