A visitor to Julio Diaz’s training camp was trying rather delicately to make the point to Diaz that most boxing experts expect him to have a difficult time with Jose Luis Castillo in their lightweight title fight Saturday at Mandalay Bay.
Diaz, though, wasn’t interested in euphemisms or political correctness. He’s heard the whispers and was as blunt as subtle as a punch to the nose.
“Hey,” he said, “they expect him to kill me. I think a lot of people think he might mop the floor with me. I understand that. He’s a big name and I’m just this kid who’s willing to stand up and say, `Heck yeah, I want this chance.’ But I’m crazy enough to think I can win.”
Diaz, 25, gambled Togel Hongkong away a world title for the opportunity, giving up the IBF championship in order to be able to fight Castillo.
Castillo, who is widely regarded as the world’s top lightweight, was slated to fight Las Vegan Diego Corrales, the WBO champion who is regarded as the world’s second-best 135-pounder, on Saturday. But that fight was scuttled by contractual squabbles. Diaz stepped in.
The only problem is he already had signed to defend his belt against Levander Johnson. And though the IBF had indicated to Diaz’s management that it would have granted him an exception to allow him to fight Castillo and retain his belt, he chose to give it up so Johnson could fight for the vacant title.
It was a bold move by a guy who was so lightly regarded just 18 months ago that HBO flatly refused to accept him as an opponent for Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather was scheduled to fight on Nov. 1, 2003, and Top Rank proposed Diaz as the opponent.…