Julio Diaz KOs Puerto Rico’s Hector Sanchez at Fantasy Springs

DiazDiaz2 WATERS 7Diaz' promoter told him that something big could be in the works to end the year. (Hogan)

INDIO-Julio “The Kidd' Diaz must have felt like a kid, winning by knockout against Puerto Rico's Hector Sanchez in front of the hometown crowd on Saturday. He closed the show and gave fans the action they wanted to see.

“I either win by knockout or lose by knockout,” said Diaz. “I'm willing to pay that price.”

Fighting just miles from his hometown, Diaz (40-7, 29 KOs) looked like the stronger fighter against the taller Sanchez (19-3, 9 KOs) at the Fantasy Springs Casino. The Coachella prizefighter showed that perhaps he does belongs in the mix with the top welterweights in the world.

Diaz said that representatives from Golden Boy Promotions that staged the fight card said that a win could bring “something good for me in December.”

But on Sept. 29, Diaz moved in quickly from the opening round against the taller Sanchez as he fired punches in probing fashion looking for that weak link. In round two a right hand decked Sanchez but he easily beat the count.

“I had to get in close range and smother him,” said Diaz. “I’m really a boxer but against Sanchez I had to be the brawler.”

For the next few rounds both fighters exchanged freely with Diaz working the body too. Sanchez tried counter shots but only a few connected. Both were looking for an emphatic knockdown.

“These are the tougher guys cause nobody knows them,” said Diaz. “The bigger (ie more well-known) guys are easier.”

A right hand counter caught Sanchez and dazed him briefly. That was all that Diaz needed to know as he quickly moved in to unload the big bombs against the Puerto Rican boxer.

“I caught him perfectly on the chin. Right on the button,” Diaz said.

The fight was stopped at 2:03 of round five in Diaz’s favor.

“I still have my skills,” Diaz said.

Speedy wins

Chino's Roger “Speedy” Gonzalez (28-6, 18 KOs) finally got a decision in someone else's hometown when he narrowly defeated Blythe's Andrew Cancio (18-1, 8 KOs) after 10 rounds of a junior lightweight match. It was close but he got the win.

Cancio put on the pressure from the beginning and never allowed Gonzalez to push him back, but instead the fighter called Speedy used lateral and side to side movement to open holes for his counters and combinations.

Gonzalez got slightly wobbled in round eight by counter right hand but recovered well and continued to use just enough movement to keep from being overrun by Cancio.

Each had their moments in the fight with Cancio starting to muster rounds in the middle and Gonzalez winning the later rounds. At the end of the fight judge Pat Russell saw it 95-95 and Max DeLuca and Carla Caiz saw it 96-94 for Gonzalez. Cancio was gracious in defeat.

L.A.'s Luis Mora (4-0-1, 3 KOs) floored Kenny Williams (3-2) of Palm Springs with a right hand in round two. After Williams beat the count Mora pummeled him until referee David Denkin stopped the junior welterweight fight at 2:12 of round two.

Heavyweight prospect Gerald Washington (3-0, 2 KOs) floored Denver's Terrance Perro (1-1) twice in the first round, but had more trouble the next three rounds with the smaller boxer. Washington used his jab and inside work to win the second round but then was kept at bay by the much bigger heavyweight's jab. The scores were 40-34, 39-35 twice for Washington.

Manuel Robles won his pro debut by unanimous decision against Tijuana's Victor Serrano (0-3) after four rounds of a featherweight bout. Robles was accurate and beat Serrano to the punch all four rounds in winning convincingly.

Riverside’s Daniel Franco (4-0-1, 2 KOs) knocked out Redwood City’s Jesus Sandoval (2-1-1) in round three. Sandoval was able to confuse Franco at first by switching from southpaw to orthodox. But soon Franco got the range and connected with some blistering shots.

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