Interview by Byron Spurlock
Juan Diaz’s trainer Ronnie Shields spoke to Fightnews about Juan’s preparation for the upcoming fight and why he believes this fight has all the makings of a thriller, Saturday night at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Why a fight with Marquez right now for Juan Diaz?
Well Juan Diaz is looking to fight the best fighters in the world. In order to fight the best fighters in the world you have to establish yourself as one of the best in the division that you’re in first. Juan Diaz has done that. Now, who else are we going to fight? No one else wants to fight us, so the only thing for us to do then is fight Juan Manuel Marquez, since he is recognized as the best lightweight, and one of the best in boxing today. That’s the guy for us to fight. Everybody knows that he is a good fighter and people feel that Diaz is a good fighter too, so why not make this fight?
How do you not let it get to Diaz that the majority of the boxing viewers are more than likely picking Marquez to win this fight?
Well, I sat Juan Diaz down and I told him that we have to do the things that have made you successful. We have to do the things that have gotten you to this point in your career. Juan knows what we have to do and we are not going to change that. We are going to keep plugging away like we have been doing for the longest. Nobody is going to talk us into changing things. Look, we know that Marquez is a very good fighter, but you have to look at it that Diaz is bringing something to the table as well. We just feel that Diaz is the better fighter, and people are going to see that Diaz is the better fighter. People can write what they want to write and people can say what they want to say, but this is why the fighters have to fight to settle it in the ring. Once you get into the ring, all that counts is who’s hand is raised at the end and people will see that it’s going to be Juan Diaz.
How is Diaz mentally preparing for this fight different perhaps from the other fights that he has had?
Juan is approaching this fight like he has for all the rest of them. Diaz hasn’t taken any fights off in his career. And that is a great attitude to have for a young man that is 25 years old. We are not doing anything different for this fight that we haven’t done for his other fights. The only thing that I could see that has been different is that the camp that we have had has been just a little longer than the others by a few weeks, but that’s about all. Diaz knows that this is going to be a tough fight. I know that and I’m sure you know that, the only thing that we can do is prepare and go into this fight the best we can.
How have you been able to keep Juan Diaz from peeking too early for this coming fight?
I don’t really have to worry about that too much for everything that we are doing is on time and Juan will be right on schedule for time of the fight. I know that he is going to peek at the right time for everything is on time, everything is own time. Juan is really focused on this fight, so everything is on pace.
How do you see the fight playing out?
I think the fans for this fight are going to get every cent that they paid for in this fight. This is going to be more than what people expected. One fighter is Mexican – American and the other one is purely Mexican, and I know that both of these fighters are going to bring everything to the table come Saturday night.