Joel Diaz wants his brother Julio to face Amir Khan; plus thoughts on Yuriorkis Gamboa’s PED scandal and Tim Bradley’s return

IMG_9530

By Chris Robinson

On Tuesday afternoon, I caught up with Indio, Calif.-based trainer Joel Diaz.

Known best for his work with WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley, Diaz actually reached out to make mention of his younger brother Julio. Last month in Los Angeles, Julio defied the odds in going tooth and nail against undefeated Shawn Porter, eventually settling for split-draw verdict after ten brisk rounds.

Having held portions of the lightweight championship on two separate occasions in the past, the 33-year-old Julio had been written off by many but showed poise, vigor, and fortitude in pushing Porter to the limit.

Joel would love nothing more than to see his brother face off with British star Amir Khan, who is actively pursuing a suitable opponent for his April 20th return.

Speaking with Joel, he highlighted why Julio is deserving of the match with Khan while also giving his take on Bradley’s scheduled March 16th return as well as the recent PED scandal involving standout Cuban talent and former featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa.

This is what Joel had to say…

Julio Diaz more than willing to face Amir Khan…
“Right now, Amir Khan is looking for an opponent. Julio is coming off of two consecutive knockouts and a draw, which was a win against Shawn Porter. If Amir Khan wants an opponent, [Julio] is a former two-time world champion and he’s willing to go wherever to put him on the canvas like Danny Garcia did.”

Julio’s recent run of performances…
“He’s got two consecutive knockouts against two great fighters, Henry Aurad and Hector Sanchez. And the draw with Shawn Porter, #5 in the WBO, we won the fight. Right now, Amir Khan, we’ll go down to 144, 145 [pounds].”

Julio’s mindset prior to facing Shawn Porter…
“Julio, through the whole training camp, he was very dedicated, he was very focused. He really wanted to show that he’s done yet. He still has some fuel in his tank. His discipline was on point for the fight. We knew Shawn Porter was fast, young, and strong, but we knew along the fight, as the rounds were going by, Julio was going to hurt him real bad. As you see, after the fourth round, fifth round, Julio was hurting him every time he was hitting him with his punches. Yeah, Shawn Porter was coming back with combinations [but they] were doing no damage. Julio was very, very impressive that night, he looked young again. His confidence level was up.”

Here and ready…
“After he beat Sanchez, I mean he put him out, and Aurad; two guys that are real strong and big, now fighting a really small Shawn Porter, I mean Julio’s confidence level was up. I know there are a lot of opponents and there are a lot of fighters with a name who are looking for good fights. Julio is already in that circle. Like I said, if Amir Khan needs somebody with a name, Julio Diaz is here and he’s ready. If it’s April 20th, we’ll go to his house and we’ll fight him.”

Tim Bradley’s return…
“He has a date, which is March 16th. It’s just these promoter issues. Golden Boy doesn’t work with Top Rank. It’s putting a barrier on the sport of boxing. A lot of people want to see the good fights, but the promoters are not working together. Right now, Top Rank doesn’t have a lot of options for Bradley. Whatever is out there, it’s just not available right now. Right now, at this point, we don’t have an opponent, we don’t have a date. But we should be having an opponent in the next few days.”

Yuriorkis Gamboa’s involvement in a brewing PED scandal down in Miami…
“I read the article. For some reason it came to my phone this morning. I ready the entire article on all the athletes taking HGH and all that stuff. It surprised me. A couple years ago, Yuriorkis Gamboa needed sparring, I don’t know for who. They called me and asked me if my brother Julio Diaz could go spar Yuriorkis Gamboa. I said ‘Julio’s too big. Gamboa’s 126 [pounds], Julio’s 140 [pounds],’ They told me it was no problem and that Gamboa sparred guys who were 154 [pounds] and he hurts them. That was in the back of my mind you know? I don’t judge anybody, but those are things that make any trainer think a little more.”

A lot of stuff going on…
“Right now, a lot of these athletes are trying to be at that competitive level. And I think they’re just leaning towards other resources. Like I said, there are people who could be using it and you would never know. But there’s a lot of stuff like that going on and you can tell with some fighters. Because, you can see with their work ethic in the past, all of a sudden as they get older, their work ethic just improves all of a sudden. They look bigger, they look stronger, and it’s just crazy to believe that they’re not [using]. But, like I said, I don’t see it, but I’m always thinking about it.”

.

Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com and www.HustleBoss.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>