Lem’s latest: Julio Diaz says he’s 1-1 vs. Shawn Porter, 1-0 vs. Amir Khan

By Lem Satterfield

Julio Diaz-Flores

Two-time lightweight titlewinner Julio Diaz has an official record of 0-2-1 in his past three fights, comprised of a draw and a unanimous decision loss to current IBF 147-pound beltholder Shawn Porter bracketing a unanimous decision setback against ex-beltholder Amir Khan.

But if you ask Diaz, the 34-year-old will only concede defeat in his rematch with Porter.

“My second fight with Porter, I did lose that fight and I knew I was losing probably most of the rounds during that fight. That’s because in that fight, I was just a frustrated fighter and that’s about all that I was going into that fight. I was trying to rip his head off,” said Diaz.

“I was frustrated about the first Porter decision and I was frustrated about the Amir Khan decision. So I came into that fight angry right from the start. I was only looking for that one-punch knockout. I wanted to either get the knockout or I was going to get knocked out. I didn’t want to go to another decision.”

Diaz (40-9-1, 29 knockouts) has similar intentions heading into his April 26 clash with 25-year-old Keith Thurman (22-0, 20 KOs) in the main event of a Showtime-televised tripleheader at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

This time, however, Diaz claims he won’t be as reckless as he was in his second fight with Porter.

“I have to keep my head this time against Thurman,” said Diaz. “In this case, we’re going to work round-by-round and sort of break down Keith Thurman and then try to get him where I want him to be and to be able to finish off the fight.”

In succession, Diaz drew with Porter in December 2012, floored Khan in the fourth round in April of last year and was outpointed in September by Porter, whose following bout was a unanimous decision that dethroned Devon Alexander three months later.

Diaz felt he deserved the decision against Khan and in the first bout against Porter, the latter of which played heavily on his mind in their rematch, which Diaz admits he lost fairly.

“To break it down, the first fight with Porter, I was very focused and very confident in what I wanted to do and I was able to execute my game plan, which was to start out really slow, break him down and get momentum. That’s what I did and I feel like I won the fight. When they scored it a draw, that just confirmed to me that I won the fight because I knew that was my win. With Amir Khan, we did almost the same thing,” said Diaz, whose older brother and trainer, Joel also works with WBO 147-pound beltholder Tim Bradley.

“Amir Khan is very fast and our game plan was to start out slow and to develop our timing. Once I had that timing down, it was time to go to work. I felt like I was in control the entire fight and that I was never in trouble and never on the ropes taking punches. I dictated the whole fight and had him hurt a couple of times. I had Amir Khan in trouble almost the entire fight and he was in survival mode almost the whole fight. There was no point where he took control and was getting anywhere. That was all me.”

In his last fight, Thurman scored knockdowns in the fifth and final rounds of a ninth-round technical stoppage victory over Jesus Soto Karass in December. In his previous bout last July, Thurman scored a 10th-round knockout of previously unbeaten Argentine Diego Chaves, whom he dropped once each in the ninth and final rounds.

Diaz won the IBF’s 135-pound belt on separate occasions by majority decision over Javier Jauregui in May 2004 and by unanimous decision over Ricky Quiles in May 2006.

Diaz lost the belt he won from Jauregui in his following bout by 10th-round stoppage against Jose Luis Castillo in March 2005.

During his second reign, Diaz made one successful defense of the title, stopping Jesus Chavez in the third round in February 2007 before being dethroned by Juan Diaz in a ninth-round knockout loss in October 2007.

Diaz believes his veteran experience, as well as his motivation from coming up short against Porter and Khan, will be the difference in what is shaping up as a firefight against Thurman.

“Thurman will be a tough fight but my performances have gotten me to the point where I am right now. So I believe that people appreciate my performances,” said Diaz.

“I definitely honestly feel like I won the first Amir Khan fight and the first Shawn Porter fight because I was in complete control most of the time. This will not be an exception. This fight with Keith Thurman, this will be a win in my favor.”

Thurman-Diaz will be supported by THE RING’s number one-rated junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse opposite rugged lightweight puncher John Molina and WBC lightweight titleholder Omar Figueroa Jr. against former amateur nemesis Jerry Belmontes.

WBC TAKES A HARD STANCE ON MANIPULATION OF BOXING GLOVES

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman spoke to RingTV.com on Monday about “a comprehensive campaign against the manipulation of boxing gloves.”

“The focus and the aim is to alert coaches, boxers, managers, promoters and matchmakers of the horrendous risks of tampering with boxing gloves for both the fighter wearing them and delivering the blow as well as the opponent who gets hit,” according to a release authorized by Sulaiman, which declares the manipulation of gloves to be “a criminal act.”

“There is a campaign by the WBC against glove tampering. So we are doing a whole campaign regarding hand-wrapping and glove chain-of-custody to prevent people from tampering with the wrapping of the gloves, which has been done in many, many countries for many, many years,” said Sulaiman, during an interview with RingTV.com.

“There is another thing involving gloves. We have started a certification worldwide even though we have been testing gloves for more than four years. We have a list of gloves that are approved for their uniformity and materials that are safe and which have quality control.”


ANTOINE DOUGLAS HEADLINES FRIDAY CARD

Middleweight Antoine Douglas (13-0, 8 KOs) will face former title challenger Luca Messi (37-9-1, 13 KOs) on Friday night at the Parsippany P.A.L., according to a release from GH3 Promotions in association with Greg Cohen Promotions. In the co-feature, lightweight Wanzell Ellison (10-0-1, 5 KOs) will face Iain Weaver (5-0, 3 KO’s).

Photo/Ray Flores

The post Lem’s latest: Julio Diaz says he’s 1-1 vs. Shawn Porter, 1-0 vs. Amir Khan appeared first on Ring TV.

Source: The Ring

    

Tete wins WBA Pan Africa title

By Togorashi By Ron Jackson Makazole Tete of Mdantsane won the vacant WBA Pan African flyweight title when he outpointed former South African flyweight champion Doctor Ntsele from Thabong, Free Staete over 12 rounds at the Orient Thetare in East London on …

Source: Fightnews.com

    

Velez, Colon, Sosa added to April 28 card

By Togorashi Unbeaten Jayson Velez, Prichard Colon and John Karl Sosa were added to the show that will headlined by the Puerto Ricans Michael “The Artist” Perez and McJoe Arroyo in separate fights on April 28, to be held at the Ruben …

Source: Fightnews.com

    

Bilal Laggoune back in action on May 31

By misterboxing7 The newly crowned WBC Mediterranean cruiserweight champion Bilal Laggoune, now 14-0-1(7), will be back in action on May 31 in Ninove, Belgium on a show promoted by his brother Ezzedine Laggoune. Ezzedine, momentarily hospitalized has vowed to promote the first …

Source: Fightnews.com

    

Roman Gonzalez in hot pursuit of third world title

By Brian Harty

BOX-JPN-NCA-MEX

Roman Gonzalez (L) against Oscar Blanquet on Nov. 10, 2013, in Tokyo. Photo by Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP-Getty Images.

Late last year Roman Gonzalez officially stepped up to flyweight.

He had already held the WBA title at 105 pounds. In 2010 he rose to junior flyweight and won the title there as well, but left the division last year with little left to prove. So far he’s been unable to secure at shot at a flyweight title. It’s not something that bothers the humble Nicaraguan fighter, though.

“I understand its part of the process in moving up in weight.” Gonzalez told RingTV.com through his manager, Silvio Conrado. “My team explained to me what the plan was and we are following it.”

“El Chocolatito” returns to action in a scheduled 10-rounder this Sunday against Filipino Juan Purisima.

The Tokyo card also features a defense by WBC junior flyweight titleholder Adrian Hernandez against Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue, and is headlined by RING and WBC flyweight titleholder Akira Yaegashi, who will meet Odilon Zaleta. If both Gonzalez and Yaegashi are victorious the aim is for them to meet, possibly as soon as August.

“That’s the plan. I am hungry to try and win a third title,” said Gonzalez. “Only Alexis Arguello has done that from my home country of Nicaragua.”

Gonzalez, who’s still only 26, boasts an impressive record of 38-0, with 32 knockouts. Currently he holds a top-5 ranking for all the major sanctioning bodies at 112 pounds.

Anson Wainwright – You return to action on April 6 in Tokyo. Can you share your thoughts on the card and your fight?

Roman Gonzalez – I will fight on the same card in which Akira Yaegashi and Adrian Hernandez defend their WBC titles at flyweight and junior flyweight.

My rival is Juan Purisima. The idea is to try and win in order to later pursue a possible matchup against the WBC flyweight champ, Yaegashi. It’s going to be a great card with a lot of top talent in the lower weight classes. I hear that the Inoue brothers will be fighting there as well.

Toshiaki Nishioka v Rafael MarquezAW – As you mentioned, if all goes well in your fight and Akira Yaegashi’s title defense against Odilson Zaleta, you’ll both meet in August.

RG – That’s the plan. I am hungry to try and win a third title. Only Alexis Arguello has done that from my home country of Nicaragua. I would like to try and match that and who knows maybe even face some of the top names at flyweight.

For now I have to focus on my opponent. It’s a great opportunity for me and I pray to God that if that moment arrives, to give me the strength, knowledge and possibility to win that fight and earn a third title. If it happens it’s going to be a tough and exciting fight.

AW – Your last fight was against Juan Kantun back in February.

RG – Yes, I have been preparing to move up in weight. The Kantun fight was part of the process. It was a fight which we took in order to continue with the process of creating a strong fan base in Mexico. I have fought many times there and in Japan. In both places people have treated us very kindly.

Many thanks to Teiken Promotions of Japan and Zanfer Promotions of Mexico for allowing me to participate in their fight cards. Ditto to Prodesa, the boxing promotion company in Nicaragua which has promoted the majority of my fights.

The Kantun fight was difficult in the first couple of rounds, he is very strong and was always willing to trade shots. I found out during the fight that the hooks to the body hurt him a lot and I tried to exploit that.

AW – Last year you fought three times, but you weren’t able to secure a world title at flyweight. Was this frustrating for you?

RG – Not really, Anson. I understand its part of the process in moving up in weight. My team explained to me what the plan was and we are following it.

Competition at flyweight is fierce. You have many top talents there such as Juan Estrada, Brian Viloria, Giovanni Segura, Hernan Marquez, Edgar Sosa, Milan Melindo, Akira Yaegashi, Juan Carlos Reveco, Archie Solis, and now Kazuto Ioka. The division is action-packed and very tough. I was actually more frustrated that the champions at junior flyweight wanted nothing to do with me. All of the fighters that I mentioned are great fighters with good boxing pedigrees who have accomplished a lot during their careers.

AW – Who are the key members of your team?

RG – My trainers are Professor Arnulfo Obando and my father, Luis Gonzalez. Professor Obando in particular has been in more than 30 world title fights. I am managed by Silvio Conrado and Carlo Pilato. They are the managers of the top boxers from my home country of Nicaragua. I have various romoters; Teiken Promotions of Japan promotes my career worldwide. They are the biggest promotional outfit in Asia. Prodesa of Nicaragua promotes all my fights in my home country. Zanfer Promociones, the largest Latin American promotional company, promotes my fights in Mexico. They all work as a team in order to try and get me the best opportunities possible. Mr. Honda from Teiken has the final word on all subject matters.

WBA world champion of Strawweight, NicarMy physical trainer is Wilmer Hernandez. Most people don’t know him but he is absolutely great. I train at the Roger Deshon gym in Managua, Nicaragua. It is the home base of the boxing company Prodesa. I train in the gym with former world champions Jose Alfaro and Juan Palacios. I spar regularly with Carlos Buitrago, Felix and Rene Alvarado as well as many others. Most ranked fighters from my country call this gym their home. It used to be managed by Alexis Arguello before he passed away. He instilled discipline and hard work into our culture. That is why it is by far the best gym in the country.

AW – What was it like for you in your youth growing up in Managua?

RG – It was ok. We had hard times like everybody. My family is poor. I don’t really like to talk much about this. All I can say is that sometimes we did not have enough to eat. We were, however, a happy and united family. Things now are better financially. We are still a close family. Boxing has helped me provide a better life for my family.

AW – How did you become interested in boxing?

RG – I became interested in boxing because I am a third-generation fighter. My grandfather was a fighter, my father and uncles were fighters. My brothers have practiced the sport as well but I am the only one who currently boxes professionally. I also have some cousins who box in Nicaragua professionally. They also train in our gym and are promoted by Prodesa.

AW – You have fought outside Nicaragua on fifteen occasions in countries like Mexico, Japan and North America – what is it like for you to go and fight in so many different countries?

RG – I train very hard and try to always be prepared. I will fight anybody, anywhere. Traveling is part of my job and its something I‘ve really enjoyed. It has given me the opportunity to know other cultures. I sometimes travel even to spar. I went to Mexico City to spar with my good friend Edgar Sosa. It was a great experience to learn from such a great champ. Even though we may be rivals soon I really admire and respect him.

Boxing champion Roman Gonzalez (L) of NiAW – What are your thoughts on current champions Akira Yaegashi, Juan Estrada and Amnat Ruengueng?

RG – There is very good talent there. I want to fight Yaegashi first. He is the RING and WBC champ. I would like to fight him. I have already fought Estrada before and it was a tough fight. I gave him an opportunity before. I hope him and his team give me an opportunity after I fight Yaegashi. It should be one of the most exciting fights in the lower weight divisions. Ruengueng I have only seem him fight in a boxing video. It was very short. Apparently he had a very distinguished amateur career.

AW – Away from boxing what do you enjoy doing?

RG – I like to travel, go to church with my girlfriend and family. I shoot a little hoops and play a little soccer. I really enjoy going to the beach. When I travel my manager always tries to take me to amusement parks. The scarier the rollercoaster the better.

AW – You’re a two-weight world champion. What goals do you still have in boxing?

RG – I would like to at least be a three-time world champion and possibly try to unify titles at flyweight.

AW – Alexis Arguello was a national hero in Nicaragua and someone you knew very well – could you tell us about the relationship the two of you had and how his passing affected you and how you now fight in his memory?

RG – He was my friend and my mentor. My manager was one of his best friends. Alexis and a group of friends formed the company which promotes me in Nicaragua. Our gym is almost a tribute to his life philosophy. There you will see posters of him, trainers who were instructed by him, etc. I remember him often. He taught me what it means to represent Nicaragua in boxing abroad. He was an international star and an ambassador of the sport. Most importantly, he was a good friend, a good person, and somebody who really cared about the fighters.

AW – In closing, do you have a message for the flyweight division?

RG – Guys, keep training hard if you guys want to remain champions because I definitely am working hard.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at elraincoat@live.co.uk and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright

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Source: The Ring

    

Shawn Porter calls Paulie Malignaggi ‘biggest test’ since Julio Diaz

By Lem Satterfield

Although Shawn Porter plans to walk through Paulie Malignaggi during the April 19 defense of his IBF 147-pound belt, just as he claims to have done in winning the title from southpaw Devon Alexander in December, he nevertheless admits Malignaggi could represent his “biggest test” since Julio Diaz.

The 26-year-old Porter (23-0-1, 14 knockouts) will face the 33-year-old Malignaggi (33-5, 7 KOs) in the Showtime-televised support of the 175-pound title unification bout between the IBF’s Bernard Hopkins and the WBA’s Beibut Shumenov at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C. The event will also include Peter Quillin’s third defense of his WBO middleweight title against Lukas Konecny.

Porter’s victory over Alexander left the ex-titlist bleeding from cuts over his eyes, ending Alexander’s winning streak at four consecutive bouts since falling to Tim Bradley, the current WBO 147-pound beltholder.

A former junior middleweight managed and trained by his father, Kenny, Porter’s victory over Alexander was preceeded by last September’s unanimous decision over ex-beltholder Diaz, with whom Porter had battled to a draw in December 2012.

“I can’t forget those Julio Diaz fights. Both of those fights were great fights against Julio and he really tested me in ways that I had never been tested before on either the amateur or professional levels,” said Porter.

“So I think that I’m coming into the ring against Paulie in about the same situation. They have both accomplished pretty much the same things, if not very similar things during their careers. So I would say that at this point that, yes, this could be my next biggest test to date up there with the fights against Julio.”

In between the fights with Porter, Diaz, 34, dropped Amir Khan during the fourth round of a unanimous decision loss in April 2013. Diaz was looking for the one-punch knockout during the rematch with Porter.

“It was great for me to fight Diaz twice. Obviously, you don’t want a draw but it helped us to regroup and to go over and to discuss some of the things the things that we did in the first fight. Coming into the second fight, I don’t think that the timing was necessarily for us, measuring how much we had gotten or how much we had improved,” said Porter.

“But the number one thing was to beat him and to be able to beat him decisively. I do think that after the fight, that was really when we were able to take a look at it. We were able to go over what we did. We were able to say that in the last fight, we did this and then we did that. We were able to say that this was good and that wasn’t and to make improvements that way. So that was a great steppingstone for me to be able to gauge where I’m at and where I’m going.”

Malignaggi unanimously decisioned Zab Judah in December, rebounding after losing the WBA title to Adrien Broner via split decision last June.

But Kenny Porter expects Malignaggi to be business as usual.

“If anybody is building this fight up to be anything bigger or better than it is, then they don’t know what they’re talking about. Everybody says that they’re going to do this and they’re going to do that until they get into the ring with us,” said the elder Porter.

“It works both ways.We’re not looking at him like he’s just Paulie Malignaggi. We’re approaching this guy like he’s 6-foot-6 and weighs a thousand pounds. We’re really prepared, even more than we were for Devon Alexander, so we’re really going after this guy.”

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Source: The Ring

    

Jose Ramirez’ May 17th fight moves 3600 tickets first day

By Togorashi For the first time, 2012 U.S. Olympian Jose Ramirez (8-0, 6 KO’s) will fight in the main event of a nationally televised fight in a major SMG Arena production in Fresno, Calif. “It’s an honor to fight in the Central …

Source: Fightnews.com