It is what he has been wanting for over two years, and it all comes down to this Saturday at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Julio “the Kidd” Diaz had to wait his turn, be put on hold, and give up his well deserved IBF lightweight title, but now he is just days away from getting his shot at Jose Luis Castillo’s WBC belt. With all his hard work preparing for this fight, Diaz in completely confident that after Saturday, he will sit back victoriously looking back at the sacrifices he made, and know that it was all worth it. BoxingTalk spoke with “the Kidd” the day he arrived in Vegas to get his thoughts on fighting Castillo, what his reaction is to his opponent’s view that the fight will end early, and why he is so sure of victory on Saturday.BoxingTalk: Julio, Saturday is the night you have been waiting for and wanting for a long, what is going through your mind now?
Julio Diaz: It’s fight time, and now that I’m here in Vegas I know it’s real.BT: We talked a couple weeks ago when you were still training for Castillo. What have you been working on since that time?
JD: I continued to train very hard. I also rested and trained myself 100% to focus on this fight. I had a real comfortable training camp. Thank God for the great people around me and the fun we had during training. I had no injuries or troubles. Everything went good.BT: How did preparing for Castillo differ from the other times you prepared for big fights?
JD: I think the motivation of this huge event has been different. I trained harder, I put a lot more attention to this fight than anything else, and it makes it a lot more exciting for me.BT: Castillo mentioned in an interview recently that he will be looking to end this fight prior to the 12th round. What are your thoughts on his prediction?
JD: I don’t blame him for saying that, because fighter’s like Castillo, that’s the only mentality they have. He’s only going to look for one punch, and when that punch doesn’t get there, and I take a shot at him, then he’s going to have trouble. He’ll be like, “Now what?” He only has Plan A, and that’s the problem for him. I am very confident that he will not take my power, and he will not be ready for it.BT:What is your confidence level like coming into this fight on Saturday?
JD: It’s great, especially now. I have been thinking this fight over and over in my head, and I put everything together. I know that this is meant for me. Two and a half years ago when I had a fight scheduled with Castillo and he cancelled, I think somebody was looking after me because maybe I wasn’t ready, and Castillo was stronger, but now I’m stronger and have matured a lot more.BT: It seems like you are more prepared than you ever have been for a fight…
JD: Yes, yes, yes. If I wasn’t ready, I wouldn’t have shown up. I’m not going to come here and embarrass my family or risk my health if I didn’t believe 100% in myself. Even when I got knocked out in the first round by Juan Valenzuela I gave no excuse to anybody. I had nothing that I could have said, but I’m ready 100%. Now I take punches a lot better, I don’t cut as easily. In the Jauregui fight I had this huge head butt in the 2nd round, but nobody noticed. My eye completely shut, I had a big ball over my eye, and my skin never opened. I don’t open up any more. I take punches better. When I was younger and I got hit hard my body reacted different, but now I’m taking them better.
BoxingTalk thanks Mr. Diaz for taking the time to speak with us. We wish him the best of luck this Saturday in his fight against Castillo.
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