Interview by Byron Spurlock
With probably his biggest fight to date, only days away, IBO Lightweight Champion Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz held little back expressing his opinion of opponent, Juan Manuel Marquez, Saturday night at the Toyota Center in Houston, Tex.
What are you feelings on going into probably the fight of your career up to this point?
Well, I’ve very excited this is the fight that I’ve been waiting for, this is the fight that a fighter waits for to come along that will put him at the next level. I’ve been a good boxer but I think this fight will make me a great boxer.
Why would you be fighting Juan Manuel Marquez now at this point in his career? He is still very much at the top of his game with being recognized as the lightweight champion of the world and one of the top pound-for-pound for fighters in boxing today.
Well, I think it’s for the reasons you just said. At this point in my career I feel that I need to fight the best. I was not able to get a rematch against Nate Campbell, so for me the next best fight out there was a fight against Marquez, the best lightweight out there today. Last year, before my lost against Campbell I was considered the best lightweight out there and I still for that way today. I’m 25 years old and I feel that my body has matured enough. I feel mentally mature and I feel that now is the right time. I need to take advantage of my youth for this fight. I don’t plan on fighting forever; I don’t want to be fighting in my 30’s still trying to make a name of myself. So I told myself that this is what I want as a fighter, to fight Marquez now and be the fighter that everyone considers as the best lightweight in the sport today. Why not fight the best right now?
Who is the crowd going to be cheering for come fight time knowing that Marquez is a Mexican fighter and you are considered a Mexican – American fighter?
I think Marquez is going to have his fair share of fighters in the Toyota center that night without a doubt, and so will I. There is one thing that is going to happen and that is the people are going to see a Mexican fighter win that night.
Are you counting down for that opening bell to ring for both of you to begin your bout with each other?
Oh yeah, that’s the easy part, the hard part comes in training and coming to train each day waiting for that day to come.
Right before the fight, what is going to going through your mind?
Before the bell ring, I’m considering myself already a champion. For I’ve been training and working hard for this fight from the beginning. I don’t mean him any disrespect but I consider Marquez as just another fighter, the only thing that is different is that he is just better known that some of the previous fighters that I’ve fault. So I don’t let that way in on me, it’s not going to make me nervous or anything, he is just another fighter to me on that night. I look forward to giving all the fans a great fight this Saturday night.
Do you have any bitterness the way Nate Campbell lost his titles on the scales of his last fight?
At first I did ,for I couldn’t believe that, for my fight, he had the fight of his life. He was so active and so pumped for my fight but he looked out of it in his last fight. But that time has gone now and I don’t believe that I will get another shot at Campbell right now. Yea it made me mad, the way that he lost those titles, for it took me a long time to unify the titles. For him to lose those on the scales like that really pissed me off, but I can’t do anything about that.
How will you look at the Ring Magazine lightweight title if you win?
I know that is its probably one of the most recognized titles in the world for its by the writers and there isn’t any bias to that title, and even the fighters respect who has that specific title. So by me winning it means that I’m the best lightweight in the world.