Knockout Nation: Marquez-Diaz II Prediction, Danny Jacobs Interview, Tyson, Don King-Mayweather

Marquez-Diaz II Weigh-In A few hours ago Juan Diaz and Juan Manuel Marquez completed their final weigh-in preparations for tomorrow night’s championship lightweight fight (July 31). Diaz came in right at the lightweight limit of 135. The Baby Bull had a great camp and looked very lean in missing his usual chunky midsection. Juan Manuel […]

Marquez-Diaz II Weigh-In

A few hours ago Juan Diaz and Juan Manuel Marquez completed their final weigh-in preparations for tomorrow night’s championship lightweight fight (July 31).

Diaz came in right at the lightweight limit of 135. The Baby Bull had a great camp and looked very lean in missing his usual chunky midsection.

Juan Manuel Marquez was very defined and cut making his first lightweight appearance since jumping to welterweight in a losing effort against Floyd Mayweather. Dinamita tipped the scales at 133.5 pounds.

The fight will be a PPV rematch to their 2009 Fight of Year, which Marquez won with a 9th round TKO. Both men are coming off losses and seeking to re-establish themselves as the premier lightweight of the division.

The bout will be for the WBA and WBO lightweight titles.



Juan Diaz Interview with Beats, Boxing and Mayhem

Juan Diaz was gracious enough to grant me a last-minute interview before tomorrow night. Despite being only 26 years old, Diaz along with many in the press has characterized this as a “do or die” fight. Diaz has had it rough since 2008, going 2-3 in his last 5 fights. Even with an exciting pressure style, a loss here would remove him from elite status.

One major concern I presented to Diaz was recent problems dealing with cuts. In his fights with Nate Campbell and Marquez, Diaz lost focus when he saw his own blood. The normally aggressive Baby Bull became indecisive and tame. And while you can’t practice for cuts, he did tell me those two experiences made him a smarter fighter.

“The first time I got seriously cut [with Nate Campbell] I went into defensive mode. I was waiting too much,” he said. “The time I got cut with Marquez I was too aggressive and put on a lot pressure. It cost me the fight. If it ever does occur again then I know exactly what I’m going to do, and that is not get too aggressive but not go completely defensively minded.”

Diaz was winning the handily early on in the first fight. But as the middle rounds progressed Marquez began to time and punish him with lead uppercuts and counter right hands. Diaz believes he let himself get caught up in the atmosphere of fighting at home and abandoned his game plan. That game plan centered on working the jab as a primary disruptive weapon.

“In the first fight I let my ego take control of the fight. And I think that’s why I lost the first fight so big,” he admitted. “My heart was just content on moving forward and not listening to the trainer or strategy, just fighting. This past year has helped me out in the way I think and listen to my corner.”

Diaz talked about much more, including whether he’s past prime, the state of the lightweight division and about Marquez worries him the most.

You can read the full interview HERE.


Marquez-Diaz II Prediction

The problem I see for Diaz is that his fighting style requires a high punch output. No matter how careful he is in jabbing his way in, Marquez with his great counterpunching skill will eventually find Diaz’s punching rhythm and begin timing him (like he did in the first fight).

To have a shot at winning this, Diaz would have to take away Marquez’s punching room and make it a phone booth fight. The problem with that is Diaz doesn’t have to the foot speed of a Ricky Hatton to close the gap quickly enough without getting caught.

I think Diaz will be smarter, but not smart enough to outwit Marquez. The prediction is Juan Manuel Marquez by decision in a competitive fight.



Danny Jacobs Interview

Another fighter I caught up with is rising, 23 year old American middleweight Danny Jacobs.

Jacobs has only been a pro for three years, but many are banking on the Brooklyn native reasserting the American presence among the middleweights following the disappointing reigns of Jermain Taylor and Kelly Pavlik.

Jacobs takes his first step tomorrow night on the Marquez-Diaz II card when he faces Dmitry Pirog for the WBO middleweight title.

When I asked if the division would be a long-term home or stepping stone for him, Jacobs was very candid on his team’s intentions.

“Well, it’s a business at the end of the day. If I have to go to 168 to get a big fight that the fans want to see, I’ll do that,” he explained. “But I plan to campaign at 160 for a number of years. It’s not easy to make, but it’s good because it makes you work harder to lose the weight. So I think we’ll campaign at 160 for a little while and then move on up to 168 in a couple of years.”

Regarding whether he feels he’ll have to play a character or initiate trash talk to get more attention, Jacobs believes that a straight-edge approach is a stronger long term investment.

“They really don’t stress regarding the media because I think my personality speaks for itself. I think I have a very cool personality; I’m an outgoing guy,” he stated. “So it kind of goes along with it. If I was a real dog guy then maybe they’d pick up and say hey you got to get the people’s attention. I’m a respectable young gentleman so that’ll take me a long way. People like the positive but they also like the villain. But you’ll go a lot further if you’re the good guy. And it flows natural.”

Since Jacobs has fought mostly on PPV, a lot of you may not have had the chance to see him. He has good power, speed and has shown the ability to adjust strategies during a fight. Check out the highlight below.

Jacob’s record is 20-0, 17 KOs.



Floyd Mayweather and Don King Have Private Meeting

“I’m chillin’ with Don King”- Floyd Mayweather’s Twitter

In my last column, I discussed why Don King was the only promoter than could finalize Mayweather-Pacquiao. And look what hits the news today.

Unfortunately we won’t be able to test out my theory this year since Pacquiao has moved on and signed to fight Antonio Margarito in November.

While both sides haven’t disclosed the specifics of the meeting, Mayweather was almost certainly discussing co-promotional opportunities as he did with Miguel Cotto last week.

In April 2009 while still “retired,” Mayweather had met with King. And going further back, the two discussed business in 2005.

It could be possible that Mayweather was dissatisfied with how Golden Boy Promotions handled the two failed 2010 Pacquiao negotiations. According to writer Michael Marley, King told him earlier today that he’d love to represent Mayweather in renewed negotiations next year.

“Arum and I could work together well; we could work hand-in-glove. We can make things happen. I know that and Bob has said it as well,” King told him. “I know what Floyd can do in the ring and he knows what I can do to bring the most money.”

This potential partnership gets more intriguing when you factor in Mayweather’s current advisors Al Haymon and Leonard Ellerbe. King has no problems with Ellerbe, but Haymon is said to have a strong dislike for King. However, Haymon is at the center of controversy for his role in the latest failed Mayweather-Pacquiao negotiations. He was said to be representing Mayweather’s camp to HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg and Top Rank’s Bob Arum.

The people involved now can’t get it done, so I’d welcome Don King stepping in. I predict not only will Don get the fight signed; he’d get us a rematch as well.

Now whether he does everything legally is another matter.

News and Notes

–          Samuel Signs Contract to Rematch Wladimir Klitschko

–          Tyson on Mayweather: “He’s just a kid having fun, living in a fantasy world.”