NEW YORK (January 18, 2012) - Undefeated super featherweight prospect Joel Diaz, Jr. is a true throwback fighter, always in top shape and ready to go just in case a call comes seeking a late replacement for a high-profile fight.
That call recently came for the 19-year-old Diaz (6-0, 5 KOs), who will be making his ShoBox: The New Generation debut Friday night against unbeaten Guy Robb (7-0, 3 KOs), opening in an eight-round bout on the televised portion of a card headlined by a World Boxing Association ("WBA") super bantamweight title fight between Rico Ramos and Guillermo Rigondeaux, live from Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
The opening came when a leg injury forced Brandon Gonzales out of his fight against Caleb Truax. Diaz was supposed to fight Friday night on a card in Woodland Hills (CA) along with his Boxing 360 stable-mate and fellow Palmdale (CA) resident, super middleweight DonYil Livingston (7-0-1, 4 KOs), who faces Michael Walker (19-11-2, 12 KOs) in an six-round bout.
"I was training to fight in Woodland Hills when I got a call offering me the fight on ShoBox instead," Diaz explained the circumstances. "I couldn't turn down a one-time opportunity like that, so I'm fighting on ShoBox. It surprised me because not too many fighters get a chance to fight in the co-main event on ShoBox with only six pro fights. It's a great opportunity to show everybody what I've got and, hopefully, I'll be able to keep fighting on Showtime."
Diaz' promoter, Mario Yagobi (Boxing 360 founder/CEO), has expertly moved Joel. Friday night will mark his fifth fight under the Boxing 360 banner in only eight months. "Joel is a special prospect," Yagobi said. "He started boxing at the age of nine and won 85 of 95 amateur matches. His power is incredible, especially for a 19-year-old who weighs less than 130 pounds. Joel's a real good kid, too. His potential is limitless and boxing fans all over the country are going to know about him after watching ShoBox this Friday night."
Diaz is fortunate he doesn't get paid by the round. His last four fights have ended in the opening frame, including his most recent (Nov. 5) against 59-fight veteran Manuel Sarabia. "Not everybody is the same," the crowd-pleasing Diaz spoke about his quick work looking ahead to Robb. "If I can't finish him off in the first couple of rounds, I'm conditioned to go the full eight rounds, if that's what it takes for me to win. I don't know a lot about my opponent other than he's also undefeated (5' 6") and a little shorter than me (5' 8"). Pops (his assistant trainer/father Joel Diaz, Sr.) and (head trainer) Hector Vallardes watch tapes of my opponents. My job is to do what my corner tells me."
Just like a throwback fighter Joel Diaz, Jr. is, despite his young age.
Other members of Boxing 360's stable include IBF World Light Junior Lightweight Champion Amanda "The Real Deal" Serrano, Maurice "Sugar Moe" Harris, Leon "Hurry Up" Moore, former IBF super middleweight champion Alejandro "Naco" Berrio, unbeaten welterweight prospect Vitaliy "Demyan" Demyanenko,WBC Caribbean & NY State super middleweight champion Lennox "2 Sharpe" Allen, Dominican lightweight champion Eudy "AK47" Bernardo, Nick "Hands of Steel" Casal, Mike Mollo, Aleem "The Hammer" Whitfield, Travis "The Notorious" Peterkin, Bryan Acaba, Joey Dawejko and "King" David Estrada.