- By Miguel Maravilla Photos byGene Blevins - Hogan
Joseph Diaz Jr. Ready for Test vs. Undefeated Avila
Undefeated featherweight Joseph "JoJo" Diaz, Jr. (23-0, 13 KOs) of South El Monte, California will be defending his NABF title this Saturday night in what will be his biggest test to date against undefeated Manuel "Tino" Avila (22-0, 8 KOs) of Fairfield, California at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas live on HBO Pay-Per-View. We caught up with Diaz as he talked about his upcoming showdown with Avila.
"This fight is going to be a tough fight. We have two undefeated fighters Manuel Avila and myself. I am ready to perform at my best and give fans what they want to see," Joseph Diaz Jr. told Southern California Boxing.com
This will be Diaz's second time fighting on Pay per view as he will be part of the Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. under card this Cinco De Mayo weekend.
"Fighting on this Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. card has been the opportunity of the lifetime for me. I have to go out there with millions watching and thousands in attendance, so I have to showcase to everybody that I can be the best and the next superstar in boxing," Diaz said. "There is no pressure in this fight You just got to do, what you have to do and for me that is to box," Diaz added.
Diaz trained in his hometown of South El Monte at the Teamsters Gym with his long time trainer Ben Lira and his father Joseph Diaz.
"Camp was great I had a ten week training camp I trained very hard for this fight. We got great work from our sparring partners so we will be ready for his length,"
His opponent the 25 year old Avila is coming off a split decision over Mexican veteran Jose Ramirez last November.
"Avila is a tough fighter he fights on the outside and keeps his distance. He is very long and rangy," Diaz said about Avila. "I feel I have more experience than him and that's what it comes down to," Diaz added.
For Diaz he is coming off a unanimous decision win over Horacio Garcia last December on HBO. Prior to that fight he won Andrew Cancio at AT&T Stadium the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. Diaz battered and bloodied the always tough and durable Cancio in his pay per view debut.
"This is my breakout year and last year was one of my best years I fought on HBO three times. This year, I am fighting an undefeated fighter and hopefully my next fight, I fight for a world title and start fighting against these big names," Diaz said.
If all goes well against Avila, the 24 year old Diaz is looking to make a splash this year at the already stacked and talented featherweight division. Which includes WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez, WBA World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz, newly crowned WBA champion Abner Mares, WBC champion Gary Russell Jr., IBF champion Lee Selby, and former world champion Carl Frampton.
"I am close and I think I'm one fight away since I am ranked number one by the WBC and number two by the WBO. I want to fight Russell or Valdez. I am willing to fight anybody. I think of those fights all the time hopefully I get to fight the best," Diaz said.
Diaz vs. Avila will be a scheduled ten round featherweight bout for Diaz's NABF title in opening up the Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. pay per view card.
"There is a lot at stake for whomever wins this fight, as they will become 'the next big thing' at 126 pounds for Golden Boy Promotions. May the best man win on May 6th," Diaz said.
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