Diaz, 24, recently lost his WBA, WBO and IBF titles to Nate Campbell on March 8, 2008. The loss was the first of his fighting career. Diaz suffered a severe cut to his left eye caused by a head butt, the cut affected Diaz’s vision throughout the fight. Diaz reports that his left eye is now completely healed after a minor procedure was performed to raise an infection as Diaz describes the cut and his “stubbornness” in not leaning to his corner caused him to lose the fight. Diaz says he strayed from his usual fight plan, which includes punches and a flow of combinations, instead Diaz stayed in and Campbell has been able to land some solid shots. Two of the three judges scored the fight for Campbell giving him the split decision victory.
Diaz informs us that his next fight is scheduled for September 6, 2008 against Michael Katsidis. The fight will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, which is Diaz’s hometown, the only detail left is for both fighters to officially sign the contract. This will be Diaz’s return to Houston after not fighting there for 3 years and he sees it as a huge advantage at home. Diaz prides himself on being a champion, understands the dedication it takes to get his belts back. Not only is Diaz committed to winning back the championships, he is also a full-time student who will graduate from the University of Houston over the next year, where he majored in law. According to Díaz, his daily routine includes waking up early and directly to the 24/7 Wellness Center, where he begins his day with weight training followed by Swimming and then off to University, Díaz is so committed to graduating he even enrolled in summer classes. In the evening, Díaz will go back to the gym to finish his day’s workout at the stair master. This daily exercise routine that differs from the boxer’s normal training plan is devised by his strength and conditioning coach Brian Caldwell. With all this going on, Diaz finds time to study in order to maintain good grades. After graduating, Díaz, who is Mexican, American plans to enter Law School. Ultimately, you would like to get involved with immigration law or sports contracts. Diaz, like former Mexican boxing champion and Hall of Famer Carlos Palomino, will be one of the few champion boxers to have a college degree. Actually, Palomino on January 21, 1977 fought Armando Muniz, this was the first time that two boxers with college degrees fought for a world title.
Diaz, who began learning to box at the age of 8, had a significant amateur career compiling a 105-5 record, however, he was banned from competing for the Mexican Olympic team in 2000 as he was not of legal age. Not wanting to wait another four more years, Diaz turned pro and won his first professional fight on June 23, 2000 at the age of 16, defeating Rafael Ortiz with a first-round knockout. Since his first bout, Diaz has won 32 bouts and is 33-1. Now Diaz is looking to resume his winning path against tough Michael Katsidis, who hails from Toowoomba, Australia. Katsidis (23-1) (20KO’s) is also coming off his first loss in which he was knocked out by Joel Casamayor in the 10th round. Diaz says he has started studying Katsidis films and together with his longtime training team or Ronnie Fields and Derwin Richards will develop a top-notch game plan. Diaz, who was devastated to lose his title belts, understands that he is looking forward and needs to continue his career. A win over Katsidis will put him back in pursuit of the lightweight title that, in addition to Campbell and Casamayor, includes the talented Anthony Peterson and Amir Khan.
After the Nate Campbell fight, Diaz switched promoters from Don King to Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy. Juan says the change was for the better now that he is with promoters who care about their fighters and guide them to the right matchups. Golden Boy featured Diaz in the April 19 fight between Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas. Diaz was part of the weigh-in event and shared the stage with many great wrestlers and celebrities. As legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer announced every celebrity onstage, Diaz was sure to remind Buffer to announce him as Juan Diaz “El Toro Baby.” Diaz is truly “El Toro Baby” with an undeniable work ethic and a never-give-up attitude. “El Toro Baby” is on the right path of life.