The CBZ Newswire

Former Lightweight Champ, David Diaz on Friday’s Fight and More

by on Jan.28, 2011, under Boxing News, CBZ Columnists, Juan Ayllon

By Juan C. Ayllon

Diaz (left) in training at JABB Boxing Gym in Chicago (photo by Juan C. Ayllon)

Diaz (left) in training at JABB Boxing Gym in Chicago (photo by Juan C. Ayllon)

CHICAGO, January 27, 2011 – Tomorrow, former WBC Lightweight champion David Diaz will climb through the ropes at the UIC Pavilion in hopes of earning another shot at his former championship.  In his way stands upset minded contender Robert Frankel (27-9-1, 4 knockouts).

Having won the WBC Lightweight Interim title with a come-from-behind 10th round technical knockout of Jose Armando Santa Cruz in August 2006, he won a gutsy victory over legendary Erik Morales in August 2007, and a majority decision win over Ramon Montana in March of the same year before losing his title to the Pound-for-Pound kingpin Manny Pacquiao via ninth round technical knockout in June 2008.  Defeating former champion Jesus Chavez in Chicago in September 2009, he lost a unanimous decision to Humberto Soto in March 2010.  Standing at 35-3-1 and 17 knockouts, the way he figures it, this Chicago native has another good shot left at a world title, and tomorrow, he aims to gain traction toward that goal.

Q:  How has training been for your upcoming bout versus Robert Frankel?  Sparring partners?  Rounds?

A:  It’s been good. I had a good camp and it went off without a hitch, actually.  We had good sparring – we had Jimmy Herrera, the Russians.  We went to Sam’s gym and sparred just about everybody.

Q:  What can you tell us about Frankel and your approach to him this Friday night?

A:  I don’t know much about him.  I just know that he’s a tall, lanky fighter and he comes to fight.

Q:  No doubt, your loss to Humberto Soto for the Vacant WBC Lightweight title was disappointing.  What do you think you will do differently given another opportunity at a world title?

A:  Oh, definitely, do what I do and just go to fight, do my best and hopefully get another title shot.  And that’s my goal for this year.

Q:  When you were preparing for your fateful defense of your WBC Lightweight title against Manny Pacquiao several years ago, your primary sparring preparations were against local pro and amateur fighters in Chicago.  You chose to stay home, rather than train in boxing hotbeds like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or New York City.  Why did you stay home, and if you had it to do it over again, would you have traveled to – or hired out – top rated contenders to spar with you?

A:  Probably, I would have done a few things different.  I just feel comfortable at home.  I would probably do a few things differently.  If I had another chance, I would probably go away.  I felt good – there was no complaints about it. The magnitude of the fight would have…we trained real well.

Q:  You now have three boys, right?  How do they affect your motivation in the ring now?  As the primary breadwinner in your family, do you find yourself a touch more cautious in the ring now?

A:  No, we still go at it like we used to.  This is my job, and this is what I make my living at.  I still have to go out and do what I’ve got to do.

Q:  Given your age of 34, what are your plans with your ring career now?  What more is there to accomplish?  And afterwards?

A:  I still want to be champion of the world.  There’s no other thing about it.  Hopefully, I’ll be blessed again to be champion.

Q:  What are your aspirations for your boys?  Would you support them if they chose to fight in the ring like you?

A:  Oh, yeah. I would first advise them that there’s other sports, but if that’s what they want to do, I cant’ be the one to hold them back if that’s what they want to do, and especially if they’re good!

Q:  Tell us about your most memorable ring experience and why.

A:  Definitely the Santa Cruz fight, winning the title, that was the one.  It was a great feeling, we were coming back with a comeback win with a knockout.  There’s no better story book ending than to win a title like that.

Q:  Tell us about a high point in your career and why it was so special.

A:  That would be fighting Morales here in Chicago.  I always wanted to have a championship fight in Chicago – that was my dream and to be victorious, that was even better.

Q:  Last thoughts?

A: Hopefully everyone comes out to see me on January 28th at the UIC Pavilion. And if you want to follow me, I’m on Facebook and Twitter.

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