|Juan Diaz: “After I am successful against Campbell, I will beat Katsidis and take back what is basically mine!”
By Benny Henderson Jr (Jan 13, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo ©German Villasenor)
Undefeated lightweight champion Juan Diaz 33-0 (17) is on a mission to unify the 135-pound titles, but first he has to get past the hard hitting veteran Nate Campbell 31-5-1 (25) come March 8th, then if need be take back the WBO strap from the undefeated Michael Katsidis who may be awarded the title by default. But it is a price the ‘Baby Bull’ is willing to pay on the road to unification against WBC titleholder David Diaz.
For seven years the Houstonite has had nothing but success, from beating some of the top of the crop to toting around
seventy-five percent of the sanctioning bodies’ titles, the unbeaten WBA, IBF and WBO title holding Diaz looks to lock and load and lay out his opposition.
In this exclusive interview conducted by Doghouse Boxing, Diaz speaks out on his upcoming match-up against Campbell as well as other topics in the boxing world, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: You have a fight coming up March 8th against Nate Campbell; give the Doghouse readers your thoughts on that match-up.
Juan Diaz: Campbell has been fighting for many years, actually when I was turning pro he was a little bit more advanced than I was, we fought several times on the same cards. He is a great puncher-boxer combination, he throws a lot of combinations and he packs a pretty good punch. Nate is one of those guys I have to watch out for because all though he has a few losses on his record he is one of those guys that has been to the top and fallen off, Nate is a talented guy who has fought a lot and is dedicated. So a tough guy who is dedicated is a very dangerous fighter.
BH: What type of fight are you expecting with Nate Campbell?
JD: I think he is going to try to do what a lot of my opponents do which is to box me, he is a good boxer so he is going to try to use the ring and throw all kinds of punches. But I think that with the pressure that I apply I don’t see him boxing me for too many rounds.
BH: You were originally slated to face Michael Katsidis, but your promoter Don King decided to scrap that fight, is that a fight that still interests you for the future?
JD: Katsidis is the fight that the fans want to see, Diaz and Katsidis is the fight they want to see in 2008. I believe that we as boxers should give the fans that they want. After I am successful against Nate Campbell I am definitely going to try to match up against Michael Katsidis.
BH: What about the whole dilemma with the possibility of the WBO stripping you of that strap?
JD: It is going on a little bit but I really sat down and thought about it and I came to the conclusion that I don’t need to worry about the situation because either way it goes I have to face Nate Campbell so I have to concentrate on that, if I cannot get passed Campbell than the belt really doesn’t matter. So I am going to go in there and beat Nate Campbell and face Katsidis and beat him and take back what is basically mine.
BH: Mexican fighters are known as tough, wholehearted fighters full of pride and no quit. Coming from the Mexican heritage is that something you take pride in, and does that drive you to push that extra mile in knowing that you are coming from a long legacy of warriors?
JD: Well it does, it does give me that extra since of pride, a lot of Mexican fighters are known for that but I believe I get my encouragement from my parents because both of my parents are go getters. They both wake up early in the morning and go to work, even though I am a world champion. I told my Mom to quit work and to let me take care of the bills but she says no that is your money. I see her waking up early with a fever or whatever and she refuses to stay home. Both of my parents showed me not to quit, I think that is where I get my pride and joy is to show people what my parents have taught me not to be a quitter.
BH: Who is training you for the upcoming fight against Campbell?
JD: Ronnie Shields, I am back with Ronnie.
BH: Is there anything you would like to add to this interview or say in closing?
JD: I want to make sure that the fans stay tuned for 2008 because I am hungrier than ever and I am going to work harder than I ever have because I know that I am at the peak of my career. So expect great things from the ‘Baby Bull’ in 2008.
I would like to thank Mario Serrano for setting up this interview, and a thanks goes out to Juan for his time and thoughts.
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