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DAVID DIAZ ? THE NEXT PACQUIAO FOE?


PhilBoxing.com




Several fighters want to face our ?national fist? Manny Pacquiao hoping to get a mega-purse and the international recognition linked with facing the Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year. But so far, only two names have emerged as clear contenders in the race for The Pacman. They are WBC lightweight champion David Diaz and WBC superfeatherweight king Juan Manuel Marquez.

Marquez is already booked to defend his title on November 3 against Rocky Juarez, and the possibility is either he or Diaz will be Pacquiao's next mega-million opponent sometime in the first quarter of next year.

Pacquiao hinted that he would like to go up to the 135-lb. division and challenge Diaz for his WBC title. Bob Arum earlier said Roach may want Pacquiao to go up to the lightweight division and one of the possible opponents would be Diaz for the WBC lightweight title.

Who is David Diaz?

David Diaz was born June 7, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois and fought as a professional boxer in the lightweight division. His record now stands at 32-1-1 (17 KOs). He is the current WBC lightweight champion. The 5?6? southpaw defeated Jose Armando Santa Cruz for the title on August 12, 2006. His only loss was dealt by Kendall Holt by an 8th round TKO last February 4, 2005. He also won the International Boxing Association lightweight title by a 3rd round TKO over Juan Polo Perez in October 21, 2005.

Diaz is considered as synonymous with Chicago boxing, like what is Pacquiao to the Philippines. He won the Chicago Golden Gloves four times and the National Golden Gloves three times. He had a record of 175-16 in the amateurs. Chicago fans have watched him since he was a successful kid in the amateurs and then making the 1996 US boxing team for the Atlanta Olympics as a light welterweight.

On the same Olympic boxing team were Floyd Mayweather, Jr., lone U.S. gold medalist David Reid and Fernando Vargas. In the Olympic preliminaries he defeated Jacobo Garcia of the Virgin Islands. But in the quarterfinal round he lost to Oktay Urkal of Germany on points.

Before the 1996 Atlanta Olympics he didn't know even if he would turn pro or not. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum called and he went on to Florida, acquired his expertise and allowed Arum the time to plot a position where he might at least challenge for a world championship belt.

He fought Erik Morales last August 4, 2007 in Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois and won a unanimous decision to defend his title. But the decision was very close. Herminio Cuevas Collazo scored it 114-113, Robert Hecko saw it 115-113 and Nobuaki Uratani counted it as 115-112. Morales announced his retirement after the fight.

Morales picked Diaz as a means of ending his career by becoming the first Mexican fighter to win four titles in four weight divisions. Instead, he emerged a winner in defeat by once again giving an exciting, action-packed performance to the boxing fans.

Strangely, there are three lightweight champions having the surname of Diaz. Aside from David, the IBF lightweight champion is Julio Cesar Diaz, born Mexican and now an American citizen, while the WBA and WBO champion is Juan Diaz, also a Mexican but now residing in Houston, Texas. All three champions are not related to each other. Juan Diaz will stake his WBA and WBO lightweight titles against Julio Diaz, the current IBF lightweight champion on October 13 in Chicago, Illinois.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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