Joseph Diaz Jr. takes another positive step toward his first major title shot

Southpaw Joseph Diaz Jr., right, lands a right hook to the head of Andrew Cancio during their fight Saturday in Arlington, Texas/Photo courtesy of Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

 

Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte figures to be fighting for his first major title sometime next year, providing he keeps winning. That makes every fight for Diaz vital. A slip, and his plans are disrupted.

Diaz – ranked as high as No. 3 in the world – took another step forward this past Saturday when he stopped Andrew Cancio of Blythe in the ninth round of their featherweight bout slated for 10 rounds. They tangled underneath the junior middleweight title fight between Liam Smith of England and Canelo Alvarez of Mexico; Alvarez won via 9th-round knockout at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“This is a great victory, it will open up so many doors for me moving forward,” said the 23-year-old Diaz, who is 22-0 with 13 knockouts. “I felt very comfortable. I was the better puncher, I was faster and was able to cut the ring more efficiently. I knew that Cancio was going to be a strong guy, I knew he was going to be tough and try to push me around, so I had to be the better fighter. I was able to display my defense and my power.”
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Canelo Alvarez knocks out Liam Smith in the ninth round to win title

Canelo Alverez (L) and Liam Smith (R) square up during a press conference to promote their fight

Canelo Alvarez, left, knocked out Liam Smith (right) in the ninth round Saturday in Arlington, Texas/Photo by Getty Images

 

Canelo Alvarez of Mexico on Saturday night once again became a world champion in the junior middleweight division when he knocked out champion Liam Smith of England in the ninth round of their bout before an announced crowd of 51,240 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) decked Smith (23-1-1) three times on his way to victory – the last two times from body shots.

Smith was making his third defense.

Alvarez previously held a title at this weight from 2011-2013. He lost his two titles to Floyd Mayweather, eventually moving up to fight for, and win, a middleweight title. He vacated that title rather than unify it with Gennady Golovkin, then moved back down to challenge Smith.

Also on this card, Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte stopped Andrew Cancio (17-4-2) of Blythe in the ninth round of their featherweight bout. Diaz (22-0, 13 KOs) is ranked as high as No. 3 by one organization.

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Joseph Diaz Jr. close to title shot, so he must be on point against Andrew Cancio

Joseph Diaz Jr., seen in his pro debut against Vicente Alfaro in 2012, is 18-0 and fighting for a vacant regional featherweight title Friday in Indio. (Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions)

Joseph Diaz Jr. decks Vicente Alfaro in August 2013. Diaz will take on Andrew Cancio on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte is getting close to a world-title fight, so he can’t afford to stumble. Diaz will take on Andrew Cancio (17-3-2, 13 KOs) of Blythe underneath Canelo AlvarezLiam Smith on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view). A victory over Cancio could be the final step – at the least, next-to-final-step – before Diaz gets his first major championship fight.

Diaz (21-0, 12 KOs) is really pumped.

“I am at 110 percent right now, and my confidence levels are through the roof,” he said. “I feel like no one can beat me. I feel like I’m at my best and come Saturday night I’m going to show the fans that I’ve got what it takes to be at the very top.”

Diaz is ranked as high as No. 3 by one governing body.

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Joseph Diaz Jr. stoked to be fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend

Joseph Diaz Jr., seen in his pro debut against Vicente Alfaro in 2012, is 18-0 and fighting for a vacant regional featherweight title Friday in Indio. (Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions)

Joseph Diaz Jr. decks Vicente Alfaro in August 2013. Diaz will take on Andrew Cancio on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte is among several boxers of Mexican descent slated to fight Sept. 17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Mexican Indpendence Day weekend.

Diaz (21-0, 12 KOs) does not take that lightly.

“Knowing that September is Hispanic Heritage Month (from Sept. 15-Oct. 15) makes me feel more confident to go out there and be the best I can be for my people,” said Diaz, a highly ranked featherweight who will take on Andrew Cancio (17-3-2, 13 KOs) of Blythe underneath the main event between junior middleweight champion Liam Smith of England and Canelo Alvarez of Mexico (on HBO pay-per-view). “It’s an honor fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend. A lot of great fights have been on this special day, and I’m ready to put everything on the line to give the fight fans another fight to remember.
“Hopefully, one day I can be a main event fighter on Mexican Independence Day weekend. This would mean a lot to my career because it’ll show everyone that I can be the next big Mexican-American star.”
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Joseph Diaz Jr., Victor Proa make weight for Saturday’s fight at Fantasy Springs

Joseph Diaz Jr./Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte and Victor Proa of Mexico on Friday made weight for their featherweight bout Saturday at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio (on HBO Latino).

Diaz (20-0, 11 KOs) – ranked No. 3 in the world – weighed in at the 126-pound limit while Proa (28-1-2, 21 KOs) came in well under at 123.8 pounds. Proa has fought just once over the past 6 1/2 years and that was this past February.

The co-main event will feature highly ranked junior welterweight Antonio Orozco (24-0, 16 KOs) of San Diego going against Abner Lopez (23-5, 19 KOs) of Tijuana. Orozco weighed 142, two pounds over the 140-pound limit. Lopez came in at 140.

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South El Monte’s Joseph Diaz Jr. to take on Victor Proa of Mexico on July 30

Joseph Diaz Jr./Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

When Golden Boy Promotions announced Wednesday that junior welterweight Antonio Orozco of San Diego and featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte would co-headline its July 30 card at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Golden Boy had yet to secure an opponent for Diaz.

That has changed as Golden Boy has lined up Victor Proa of Mexico as Diaz’s foe for this card that will be televised by HBO Latino.

Proa, 31, is 28-1-2 with 21 knockouts. But that is very misleading because Proa’s ring record is comprised mostly of tomato cans. In Proa’s most recent bout, he took on Oswaldo Oziel Delgado and Proa stopped Delgado in the first round. Delgado entered with a record of 0-4.

Diaz (20-0, 11 KOs) is ranked as high as No. 3 in the world by one organization.

Orozco (24-0, 16 KOs) will tangle with Abner Lopez (23-5, 19 KOs) of Tijuana. Orozco is ranked as high as No. 1, but as a junior welterweight.

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Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte looks to fight best of the featherweights

Joseph Diaz Jr./Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte has compiled a professional record of 20-0 and 11 knockouts since representing the U.S. in the 2012 London Games. He is ranked as high as No. 3 at featherweight by one governing body.

Diaz, just 23, is getting closer to a world-title shot in one of boxing’s talent-rich divisions, which has champions like Leo Santa Cruz, Gary Russell Jr. and Jesus Cuellar and contenders like Carl Frampton and Oscar Valdez. Diaz may not take a back seat to any of them, but that remains to be seen.

Diaz wants to make believers out of boxing fans, though, and he takes that responsibility seriously. Diaz was part of a news conference Wednesday at the Golden Boy Promotions offices in downtown Los Angeles. He’ll next fight July 30 at Fantasy Springs Casino on Indio (on HBO Latino) and although his opponent is still to be determined, he vowed to continue to show fans what he’s about.

“I’m excited to give everyone a great performance,” said Diaz, who trains out of the Teamster’s Youth Boxing Club in South El Monte. “I’ve been training very hard, and I want to showcase that I am at the same level as all the champions in the featherweight division. Hopefully, I can go for a world title soon.”

Diaz fights for Golden Boy. Its senior vice-president, Eric Gomez, touched on the 126-pound division moving forward.

“We are in an Olympic year, and our co-headliner will be ex-Olympian, Joseph Diaz, Jr. who also has a great record as a featherweight fighter,” Gomez said. “I believe the featherweight division will be the hottest division in the next few years because of all the talent we have following in the footsteps of Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.”

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South El Monte’s Joseph Diaz Jr. added to July 11 card at Sports Arena

Joseph Diaz Jr./Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Golden Boy Promotions on Thursday announced that featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr., a 2012 U.S. Olympian from South El Monte, has been added to the July 11 card at the Los Angeles Sports Arena (on HBO Latino).

Diaz, 22, is 16-0 with 10 knockouts. His opponent has yet to be determined.

Hank Lundy will take on Mauricio Herrera (21-5, 7 KOs) of Riverside in the junior welterweight main event. Lundy, of Philadelphia, is 25-4-1 with 12 knockouts.

 

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Joseph Diaz Jr. set to take on Juan Luis Hernandez at Belasco Theater in L.A.

Joseph Diaz Jr./Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte tonight (Friday) will square off with Juan Luis Hernandez of Mexico in the featherweight main event at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. The Golden Boy Promotions card will be televised by Fox Sports 1 at 7 p.m.

Diaz, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, has a record of 14-0 with nine knockouts. He is a very good prospect and it won’t be surprising at all to see him fighting for a world title within the next couple of years. Diaz is just 22.

Hernandez, 32, is 17-4-1 with nine knockouts.

 

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Oscar De La Hoya on Saturday will host annual turkey giveaway

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Joseph Diaz Jr., a 2012 U.S. Olympian out of South El Monte, will be among the fighters assisting in the annual turkey giveaway/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Promoter Oscar De La Hoya on Saturday will host his annual turkey giveaway at Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter High School in East Los Angeles beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Among the Golden Boy Promotions fighters expected to be on hand are Gabriel Rosado of Philadelphia, Julian Ramirez of East Los Angeles, Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte and Diego De La Hoya, Oscar De La Hoya’s 20-year-old cousin from Mexicali.

(Note: The families receiving the turkeys have been pre-selected.)

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