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Keith Thurman-Julio Diaz Set For April 26

BY The Sweet Science ON March 26, 2014
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KEITH THURMAN, LUCAS MATTHYSSE AND OMAR FIGUEROA TO HEADLINE SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® TRIPLEHEADER
AT STUBHUB CENTER IN CARSON, CALIF., ON SATURDAY, APRIL 26

INTERIM WBA WELTERWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

KEITH THURMAN VS. JULIO DIAZ

JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHT BOUT

LUCAS MATTHYSSE VS. JOHN MOLINA

WBC LIGHTWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

OMAR FIGUEROA JR. VS. JERRY BELMONTES

Tickets Go On Sale Tomorrow, March 27 at 10:00 a.m. PT

LOS ANGELES (March 26, 2014) - StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., has rapidly become known amongst boxing aficionados as the place to be to see world-class fights and fighters. On Saturday, April 26, that reputation continues to grow as Golden Boy Promotions and SHOWTIME Sports® team up for an all-action tripleheader featuring some of the top fighters in the sport today. In the 12-round main event, Florida power-puncher Keith "One Time" Thurman defends his interim WBA World Welterweight Championship against former World Lightweight titleholder Julio "The Kidd" Diaz.

In other televised bouts on SHOWTIME, Argentine knockout king Lucas "The Machine" Matthysse returns in a 10-round matchup against hard-hitting Californian John Molina and Omar "Panterita" Figueroa Jr. defends his WBC Lightweight World Championship against fellow Texan Jerry "The Corpus Christi Kid" Belmontes.

"To headline a show like this against a former world champion is something I've wanted to do for a long time, and that day is here," said Thurman. "I respect Julio Diaz and I will not underestimate him. He knows that this may be his last shot, and I expect the best from him, but I'll be the one leaving with the victory."

"This is a big opportunity for me to face a fighter that is feared by many, but not by me," said Diaz. "I have been in the ring with far more dangerous and experienced fighters in the past, and everyone knows that I come to fight. My previous opponents Amir Khan and Shawn Porter will tell you that. "

"Molina is the kind of fighter I respect and always want to compete against," said Matthysse. "He shows up to fight and we're going to give the fans the kind of show they want to see. I don't think it will last long, but it will be something to see while it does."

"I'm excited to showcase myself against someone that I consider to be one of the best fighters in the world at 140 pounds," said Molina. "I am very well prepared to come in on fight night and do what I do best, and that is to be victorious."

"I am especially excited about this fight because I have wanted to get payback against Belmontes for longer than a decade," said Figueroa. "I fought him in the amateurs and he always beat me because I was always shorter than him. Now I am taller, stronger and bigger than him and I am looking to beat him the way he beat me in the amateurs."

"I beat Omar 5 times in the amateurs but it was just that, the amateurs, we were young," said Belmontes. "We have taken different paths as professionals and finally they cross and we meet again... on April 26, he'll be beaten... for the 6th time".

Tickets priced at $150, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, go on sale tomorrow/Thursday, March 27 at 10 a.m. PT and will be available online at AXS.com, by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849) and at StubHub Center Box Office (Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. PT to 6 p.m. PT).  VIP Suites are available by calling 877-604-8777.  For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 877-234-8425.

A supreme knockout artist whose power continues to captivate more and more fans with each bout, Clearwater, Florida's Keith "One Time" Thurman (22-0, 20 KOs) skyrocketed from prospect to contender to champion with three wins over Jan Zaveck, Diego Chaves and Jesus Soto Karass in 2013, earning the interim WBA Welterweight World title with the victory over Chaves. On April 26, the 25-year-old makes the second defense of his crown.

A respected veteran who has earned his stripes in the boxing world, Julio "The Kidd" Diaz (40-9-1, 29 KOs) found new life in his career with a move to the welterweight division in 2012. Since making the move, Diaz is 2-2-1, including a 10-round split draw to Shawn Porter and a hard-fought loss to world renowned Amir Khan. The 34-year-old former world lightweight champion from Coachella, Calif., would like nothing more than to win another title on April 26.

Popular Trelew, Chubut, Argentina native Lucas "The Machine" Matthysse (34-3, 32 KOs) has been knocking opponents out for nearly 10 years, becoming one of boxing's most feared competitors in the process. The former interim WBC Junior Welterweight World Champion, Matthysse's last 11 wins have ended before the final bell, and after a 12-round decision loss to Danny Garcia in a terrific championship bout last September, the 31-year-old is more determined than ever to take matters out of the judges' hands.

Covina, California's John Molina (27-3, 22 KOs) has plenty of dynamite in his fists as well, earning him a reputation as an exciting fighter ever since he turned pro in 2006. In July 2013, the 31-year-old added to his legend with a dramatic come-from-behind last-round knockout of previously unbeaten Mickey Bey, Jr. In his most recent bout last November, the hard-hitting Molina halted Jorge Pimentel in two rounds.

Seen for years as the future of boxing, the time for Omar "Panterita" Figueroa Jr. (22-0-1, 17 KOs) is now. In his last fight, an epic win over Nihito Arakawa last July, Figueroa won the WBC Lightweight World title in a Fight of the Year candidate. The 24-year-old of Weslaco, Texas, was scheduled to face Ricardo Alvarez on the March 8 Canelo vs. Angulo PPV event but sustained an injury in training that forced him to withdraw. On April 26, the fiery competitor returns to defend his crown for the first time against Jerry Belmontes.

Jerry "The Corpus Christi Kid" Belmontes (19-3, 5 KOs) proudly represents his hometown in and out of the ring, but it was his effort in the ring in March 2014 that earned him a shot at Figueroa. In that fight he won a dominant 10-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Australian contender Will Tomlinson. Now, more confident than ever, the 25-year-old plans on delivering another upset win on April 26.

A full undercard will be announced shortly.

Thurman vs. Diaz, a 12-round fight for Thurman's Interim WBA Welterweight World Championship on Saturday, April 26, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona, AT&T and Casamigos Tequila. It will take place at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., and will air as the main event of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) and will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP). In the co-feature, Argentine knockout artist Lucas Matthysse faces hard-hitting John Molina in a 10-round junior welterweight bout that is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Goossen Tutor Promotions. In the opening bout of the telecast, Omar Figueroa Jr. defends his WBC Lightweight title against fellow Texan Jerry Belmontes. Preliminary fights will air on SHOWTIME EXTREME®.

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Comment on this article

Skibbz says:

I'd like to thank Al Haymon...

No but seriously, Diaz? This guy is getting past around now, thurman should have begged and whined for much more. He's gonna pass his best days still waiting for a big fight.. He's got a war chest waiting to be filled with booty yet all he's snacking on is peanuts...

Wouldn't mind seeing Thurman in there with Guerrero, Brook, Porter and Joy Jr.. I think he could beat them all...

The Commish says:

Ever think about being a matchmaker, Skibbz? I love all the matchups you put out there for Thurman, butThurman-Guerrero is my favorite. F.O.T.Y candidate written all over it.

-Randy G.

Skibbz says:

You're too kind Commissioner, I would relish match making as much as any other boxing heads.. But i'd have to be the promoter too. Matchmakers don't get paid enough for their troubles and input, in my opinion they're greatly undervalued by the guy they're working for.

As for the Thurman Guerrero fight, I think it's in the pipeline.. Now Guerrero is with Haymon i'd be shocked and disappointed if we don't see it. Fantastic match up, you can just see the fire works in and out of the ring without any trouble!

deepwater2 says:

The best excuse for choosing Diaz is that he looked ok losing to khan. Thurman needs a big name. I wasn't too high on him In the past but he earned some respect against that Argentinian boxer. He should be progressing against top guys now. Not journeyman. I'll DVR this card and watch it at my convenience I wouldn't go out of my way to stay home and watch it.

Skibbz says:

Ha! An excuse is all they can offer if he get's questioned on the match up.. So poor in my opinion. I hope he get's something nice and challenging in 2014, hate to wait till '15 to see what he's really made of.

The Shadow says:

You're too kind Commissioner, I would relish match making as much as any other boxing heads.. But i'd have to be the promoter too. Matchmakers don't get paid enough for their troubles and input, in my opinion they're greatly undervalued by the guy they're working for.

As for the Thurman Guerrero fight, I think it's in the pipeline.. Now Guerrero is with Haymon i'd be shocked and disappointed if we don't see it. Fantastic match up, you can just see the fire works in and out of the ring without any trouble!


No one was really available. Brook has a mandatory, tied up with Porter-Paulie. Guerrero was offered the fight but turned it down because he was trying to get Pacquiao. Floyd is tied up with Maidana, of course.

I think Diaz is a nice measuring stick. After that, get him the winner of Brook-Paulie/Porter.

Now THAT, I think, would launch him into the Mayweather conversation!

If he fights and beats a former Floyd foe, he's a legitimate candidate.

What do you think?

Skibbz says:

Yeah I'm not talking for now obviously but in the future for Thurman, Guerrero made the mistake in turning it down in my opinion it was just what he needed to stay in the public domain after that big house fight, he hasn't done anything since..

I'm not sold on Diaz, he's there to be beat by everyone, whether they do it convincingly or not is up to them fashion.. As D2 Khan made him look ok so that's why they billed him.

Thurman Brook deserves to have a world title attached to it, it's such a juicy fight going forward and one I hope we see. Porter too, I like Porter's style a lot and I think he's sharp enough to give Thurman a rough ride. As for Paulie.. I think he get's beaten fairly easily, there's some bad blood there and I think Thurman would do better on the night.

The Shadow says:

Yeah I'm not talking for now but in the future for Thurman, Guerrero made the mistake in turning it down in my opinion it was just what he needed to stay in the public domain after that big house fight, he hasn't done anything since..

I'm not sold on Diaz, he's there to be beat by everyone, whether they do it convincingly or not is up to them fashion.. As D2 Khan made him look ok so that's why they billed him.

Thurman Brook deserves to have a world title attached to it, it's such a juicy fight going forward and one I hope we see. Porter too, I like Porter's style a lot and I think he's sharp enough to give Thurman a rough ride. As for Paulie.. I think he get's beaten fairly easily, there's some bad blood there and I think Thurman would do better on the night.


Co-sign 3x on all points.

That said, I think Paulie is tougher than gets credit for so it won't be easy for Keith. Paulie's not just gonna let him tee off on him like Soto-Krash.

After Deep told me of his sparring session with him, I've noticed some dirty little subtle tricks he does like punch you on the thigh coming out the clinch while the referee is on the other side. He's a wily veteran. Lol

Skibbz says:

Soto-Krash.. Made me chuckle!

I hope the fight with Thurman and Paulie happens.. Could likely end up getting Thurman Malignaggi with Porter Brook? Would love to see how Thurman does against Malginaggi.. I think you're right people underestimate his toughness but I think it's Thurman's time now, he will begin his ascent after a long time..

Love the clinch game myself, one trick I was taught was to push a guy's head down and shoot to the opening at his body with an uppercut. it's wide open and soft as butter when he's bending like that.. just don't get penalised!

The Commish says:

Shadow...I, too, loved the reference to Soto-Krash.

-Randy G.

The Shadow says:

Soto-Krash.. Made me chuckle!

I hope the fight with Thurman and Paulie happens.. Could likely end up getting Thurman Malignaggi with Porter Brook? Would love to see how Thurman does against Malginaggi.. I think you're right people underestimate his toughness but I think it's Thurman's time now, he will begin his ascent after a long time..

Love the clinch game myself, one trick I was taught was to push a guy's head down and shoot to the opening at his body with an uppercut. it's wide open and soft as butter when he's bending like that.. just don't get penalised!


You seem like you have a kick-*** inside game. I need to learn some tricks. Holla at me if you got some drills. That uppercut to the soft section can probably take a round worth of stamina off a dude in average shape.

And yes, Soto-Krash! Haha...

Skibbz says:

Best drill was always ring time. Take any and all who are willing to trade some sweat and blood, just let them know what you wanna try unless they're after a scrap. Just gotta be vicious when you're in there. if he's asking to get hit, sub-consciously or otherwise, you make sure you grant his wish, and be generous!

The Shadow says:

Best drill was always ring time. Take any and all who are willing to trade some sweat and blood, just let them know what you wanna try unless they're after a scrap. Just gotta be vicious when you're in there. if he's asking to get hit, sub-consciously or otherwise, you make sure you grant his wish, and be generous!


The reason I ask for drills is because I am trying to re-program certain habits. Once I take a few flush, I revert to what I know best, sticking, moving, hitting and not getting hit. But sometimes you have to stand your ground and fight. I'm trying to get to that point.

I will try to be vicious. I lack that completely, it's like I'm friggin fencing in there and I never punch through the target. Once busted a guy's nose who ran into a half extended straight right and apologized. Wtf

deepwater2 says:

Be cold in there. Look at it as a business deal. No hard feelings but the contract says beat this guy hard and fast before he makes you suffer. Sparring means if you hurt him just back off and move around.

jzzy says:

Soto-Krash.. Made me chuckle!

I hope the fight with Thurman and Paulie happens.. Could likely end up getting Thurman Malignaggi with Porter Brook? Would love to see how Thurman does against Malginaggi.. I think you're right people underestimate his toughness but I think it's Thurman's time now, he will begin his ascent after a long time..

Love the clinch game myself, one trick I was taught was to push a guy's head down and shoot to the opening at his body with an uppercut. it's wide open and soft as butter when he's bending like that.. just don't get penalised!


Keith is a dangerous fighter that most welters will avoid. He needs to be matched properly at this point to build his fan base. I don't think
Paulie can deal with his strength, but if he wants to step up then will see if Thurman can handle a slick boxer. It would be a huge fight for
Barclays.

King Beef says:

I'd like to thank Al Haymon...

No but seriously, Diaz? This guy is getting past around now, thurman should have begged and whined for much more. He's gonna pass his best days still waiting for a big fight.. He's got a war chest waiting to be filled with booty yet he's feeding on is peanuts...

Wouldn't mind seeing Thurman in there with Guerrero, Brook, Porter and Joy Jr.. I think he could beat them all...



Porter's pops don't want the fight right now either, although it would be a good scrap.

Skibbz says:

A fighter should build his fan base in his home town first and foremost. He should be a face in his community, a hope for many of the younger guys and gals where he comes from. Thurman has the suits on his side but that's never enough, although it's a big helping hand.. His performances in the ring have been very entertaining too, but again that alone is never enough unless you're truly spectacular.

Jzzy What he, and other fighters, need to do is build a strong fan base at home, and that's easier done than people think if you have the talent of some of those guys we've mentioned. Porter's doing a great job of it in Cleveland. Brook has done a great job in Sheffield. Without a good following at home it's hard to build on anything more in my opinion.

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