Showing posts with label Juan Diaz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Juan Diaz. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Legend of Baby Bull

Howdy folks!

This past weekend, Juan Diaz unified the titles in brutal and beautiful fashion. Diaz is a Houston fighter, described by Max Kellerman as the equivalent of a guy who doesn't hit hard but rather hits often. I have heard the comparison plenty of times from plenty of places; I'd like to ask Acelino Freitas what he thinks of that. Popo quit on his stool after the eighth round because Baby Bull was hitting him with constant pressure.

This fight was a benchmark between two fighters in the top five of the division. Diaz
is one of two champs to hold two belts (the other being Jermain Taylor). He is undefeated with a decent knockout ratio. Diaz was on the mat early in his career against a man named Ubaldo Hernandez. Diaz had a large cut over his eye and was only seventeen at the time but managed to secure a split decision.

Baby Bull's moves are unique, fascinating and emphaticlly effective. He can easily fight inside and gnaw at an opponent coming forward, trapping them against the ropes or in the corner of the ring. His body work is sharp and excellent and he can hook upstairs just as easily. He uppercuts, has spectacular fundamental hand defense and circular movement on his slip and fires a deceptive jab at tremendous volume. Diaz didn't even look tired talking to Max Kellerman about his future plans after the fight.

"'I'm going after all the champions in the lightweight division,' he said. 'Give me a champion and I'll fight him.'"

Seems rational. Juan wants a third and fourth belt in order to be the indisputed champion of the world. Dan Rafael doesn't agree. Apparently his next blog post (which is not linked to ESPN but is described ont he boxing home page) says the Diaz has to fight Joel Casamayor if he wants to be the REAL champ.

Dan Rafael is one of the snootiest sports columnists on ESPN and is entirely misdirected in even beggining to type that post. First, Rafael must have missed the second half of Diaz's quotation:

"'Bring Casamayor on. In the people's eyes, when you have all the belts, you're a true champion.'"

Juan Diaz said right there that he is not scared of Casamayor and would agree to fight him in immediate principle. Secondly, Diaz is suggesting something that is old school, legitimate and a cornerstone of modern boxing. The alphabet soup organizations in boxing have no credibility as sanctioning parties because they are like tiny little corrupt governments stomping on fighters, coaches and fans worldwide. However, if Diaz held all the titles then he would hold all the cards. The organizations would have to all protect him at the same time so that he did not have to give up his title.

Third, Rafael is acting like fellow titleholders David Diaz(32-1-1) and Julio Diaz (34-3) (whole lotta Diaz going on here) are chopped liver when they are actually competitive matchups and deserving of more than the paper title they hold in their hands.

Finally, there is a matter of math and making the biggest fights at the end of the boxing tunnel. How's this for a setup: Casamayor fights David Diaz, Julio and Juan fight and we have a unifier between the winners. The last man standing is the champ. That man's last name will be Diaz or Casamayor and I would kill to see him move up for a Pacman showdown.

Realistic? Probably not. The best fight plan? Absolutely.

Let the fists fly. Rumble, young bull, rumble.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tex's Fight Freak Update

I've been hitting the boxing pads with Sideshow almost every night for the last week and it's helping to replenish my blackened lungs (now healing from the break/heave ho I gave cigarettes). In a few weeks, I might be able to beat up a nine year old girl.

The motivation is from a downright bitchin' upcoming fight schedule that is televised the way it should be for a good majority of the fights. This weekend in San Antonio Manny Pacquiao takes on Jorge Solis as a mandatory challenger with an undercard that features Jorge Arce, Brian Viloria and Julio Cesar Chavez as favorites in three seperate fights. That's 4.5 elite fighters out of eight in the main fighta on that card and it's there for the taking on Top Rank pay per view. The pay is a pain but no one that knows the fight game can say the card doesn't deliver.

Oh by the way, ESPN's Dan Rafael tossed in a cheesy Eminem writeup for Jorge Solis in this month's division rankings:

"In his song 'Lose Yourself,' Eminem raps, 'Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?' That's what Solis must ask himself as he prepares for the fight of his life against Manny Pacquiao. It's the kind of opportunity that comes once in a lifetime for a good, but totally unknown fighter like Solis."

Mike Arnaoutis fights Kendall Holt in Showtime next week. Arnaoutis should be undefeated, having been robbed into the end of the stick on a split decision against Ricardo Torres in his last fight. This cat throws sharp, heavy punches. Put him in the pile of dangerous assasins in the welterweight range. Holt is a marginally talented fight with an inflated record that will probably get mopped. However, he has put the hurt on a few fighters before and was only defeated by Thomas Davies. Davies, a journeyman with an 11-4 record and 7 KOs, was outslicked into a 6 round unanimous decision loss by crafty southpaw Luis Collazo. The point is, Araoutis should fly and it will be a good one to watch.

In Minnesota on April 25th you can catch Jason Litzau on ESPN. Litzau is a slick, heavy-handed, stick and move fighter with excellent ring generalship. He is uber-marketable, a law school student at NYU while he was undefeated and a pseudo-Eminem personality. Why would anyone ever put a fighter like this on ESPN rather than HBO? Well, he WAS on HBO... until he met a guy named Carlos Hernandez. Hernandez fights Rocky Juarez on the undercard of the May5th Mayweather-Delahoya superfight. Juarez was defeated in two close fights against Marco Antonio Barrera, the first of which was an exciting primetime performance and close as could be.

Anyway, Hernandez was fighting the faster and more athletic Litzau and being outscored bya wide margin in the seventh round of the fight. Hernandez knocked him down in the first round and rocked him hard but Litzau came back to fight in steady and controlling fashion. HE could not hurt Hernandez; as my friend Steckle said during the fight,"That guy's body looks all rubbery like a little kid, like he can't get hurt." In the eighth, Hernandez began throwing his right hand over the top rather than the straight shot he was using before. It landed fresh on the button and tore down Litzau. It will be interesting to see where each of them go from here.

Three days later marks and HBO open television shot of one of the best fights of the year: Acelino Popo Freitas vs. my H-town bull Juan Diaz. Diaz is smooth, strong and well-rounded. His regiment has paid dividends with absurd endurance, blinding hand speed, decent pop in both hands and tactical prowess, shoving, dipping, cutting and slipping his way to being undefeated with relative ease. This is a championship unifier that actually matters as it will likely decide the Ring Magazine lightweight champ and push one of the men into the Pound for Pound discussion.

The Super Fight the following week ends the run of beautiful boxing but fight fans can salivate the schedule that is to come several weeks after. This Summer features Jermain Taylor against Cory Spinks and Edison Miranda against Kelly Pavlik on one lineup, Shannon Briggs vs. Sultan Ibragimov, Miguel Cotto vs. Zab Judah, Humberto Soto vs. Bobby Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton vs. Jose Luis Castillo for Hatton's Ring Magazine belt, Wladimir Klitschko vs. Lamon Brewster, the interesting-on-paper-but-sure-to-be-boring Hopkins-Wright matchup and the yet to be announced mandatory freak brawl between Paul Williams and Antonio Margarito.

I have to go punch some pads now. If you aren't a fight freak currently, get yourself together and see some of these matchups before we're back to watching Ray Austin and Jaidon Condrington get floored in flashy fashion like we were before.