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List of Articles by Ronnie Nathanielsz


 

FORMER WBC LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION DAVID DIAZ WORKS WITH KIDS WHO FIND A REFUGE OFF THE STREETS

By Ronnie Nathanielsz
PhilBoxing.com
17 Aug 2016



Former World Boxing Council lightweight champion, southpaw David Diaz who fought out of Chicago, works with kids who find a refuge off the streets and stay away from drugs and a downward path to crime.

The extremely likeable and charismatic Mexican-American who was also an outstanding amateur hasn’t forgotten the sport he loves.

After beating Mexican legend Erik “El Terrible” Morales in a title defense on August 4, 2007, Diaz lost his title to Filipino southpaw Manny Pacquiao who bloodied and battered Diaz en route to a 9th round TKO at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel and Casino.

It was Manny’s fifth world title in five different divisions and began a run of devastating victories after Alex Ariza took over as his strength and conditioning coach that led to Pacquiao becoming an eight division world champion.

We interviewed David on several occasions and he was always approachable, frank and sincere during our conversations.

The WBC reported that after his retirement in 2011 following a knockout loss to Henry Lundy in the 6th round of a scheduled ten-round lightweight bout in Indiana for the North American Boxing Federation lightweight title in August that year, David decided to train youngsters at his gym in Chicago and “being able to transmit his knowledge and helping youth, is the most important thing he has fondly found and cherishes, after leaving the ring.”

David, who represented the United States in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in 1996 which we covered for the Philippine government television network NBN 4 fought as a light welterweight.

He defeated fan favorite Zab Judah twice in eight days and inflicted a stoppage on Jacobo Garcia of the Virgin Islands in the 3rd round before losing to Oktay Urkal of Germany.

Diaz won the Chicago Golden Gloves four times and the National Goldem Gloves in 1993. 1994 and 1996 as a light welterweight and had a record of 78-16 as an amateur and a pro record of 36-4-1 with 17 knockouts.

David said that this program seeks to work with kids and youth. It started 3 years ago and now they have 4 state champions and is looking to train more.

Diaz revealed that the sport sometimes is unfair and “that's precisely why you have to give your absolute best and love it with all your soul.”

He commented that the impactful message he wants to impart, is that “boxing is a sport of love and discipline. You cannot be a world champion without sacrifices and hard training.”

David distinguished always for being a powerful puncher and and a fearless fighter inside the ring, remembered the time he defeated Erik "Terrible" Morales, at the Allstate Arena in Chicago. It was dream fulfilled.

He commented, "Boxing gave me great things. It taught me a way of life and I can`t thank all the people involved enough for helping me to make my dream come true. Today I want to teach kids the art of boxing, starting with self defense. I am very happy to have this amazing opportunity."


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