By James Slater
Photos: Chris Royle – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
A tired yet jubilant Amir Khan finally arrived at the post fight press conference in Sheffield. So too did the narrowly outpointed Julio Diaz. Here’s what both warriors had to say after tonight’s 12 round thriller
Amir Khan: “Julio was tough. We did our homework – I’m pretty sure he did his. He came here to win and he gave 100-percent. I knew it would be a tough fight, but I never knew it would be that tough.
“He caught me with a good left hook and put me down (in the 4th) but this fight is what I needed. We did 12 hard rounds and we know my fitness is good – and this was only my second fight with Virgil. I’m still learning. I still don’t think I am a complete fighter yet. I want more time in the ring, this is my job. It’s never easy at top level. But this was a brilliant fight for me to get my feet wet.
“There are four great fighters out there – Danny Garcia, Zab Judah, Lamont Peterson and Lucas Matthysse. I would love to fight the eventual winner out of those guys. I’d really love a fight with Garcia especially. There is a lot of unfinished business there.”
Julio Diaz: “I’m very happy and proud to have given you guys a great fight. I think it was the best fight we could’ve given. Khan is a warrior, anyone else would’ve taken a knee or quit – he fought through it. His speed, his hand and foot speed, made it difficult for me to finish him.
“He also became more dangerous when he was hurt. I think it was a fair decision, I let too many rounds go by. Every time I hit him I hurt him, but he was the busier guy. I think we were both winners tonight.
“I wouldn’t mind a rematch, there are other good fights out there for us both. But I have no problem with a rematch. I wanted to prove that I’m still at the top level, that’s why I took this fight with Khan, in his hometown. I proved that I can still do it at this level.”
Promoter Richard Schaefer said Diaz will definitely fight for a world title again in the future. Schaefer also stated that Khan will fight for a world title in his next fight – pencilled in for September 7th.