Juan Diaz (41-4, 20KO’s)was able to turn back the hand of time, kind of, as he stopped Fernando Garcia at the Arena Theater in his hometown of Houston, Texas. At age 32, Diaz was able to stop the younger fighter in Garcia with sheer volume. He looked good, really good in spots, but overall there were aspects of his game that have not improved through time.
Diaz started strong in an attempt to keep the tempo on his side. He wanted momentum but probably didn’t count on the Tijuana-born Mexican Garcia being so game. Both fighters exchanged early and although it was Diaz that got the better of most of the exchanges, it is reasonable to consider the fact that the amount of wars the Houston native has left in him, regardless of his opponent’s skill level, are observable from a fight to fight basis.
Garcia started to show signs of punishment at mid-point in the fight. In those middle rounds, Diaz was able to get off plenty of shots. However, his success also pointed out his shortcomings as he was unable to stop a fighter with 5 KO/TKO losses on his resume heading into the fight—three in his last six outings. The question of Diaz’s power is as lacking as ever, it seems.
It was still impressive to see Diaz wear down his opponent with body shots and head-popping uppercuts from the inside, although Garcia was game considering the matching. In the 9th round, Diaz had thoroughly chopped his opponent down and the fight was finished after Garcia managed to get up from a knockdown only to have the referee stop the bout moments later.
Diaz admitted to ring rust in the post-fight, but I can’t imagine this dog having too many more tricks, and his game is not the kind that is capable of being polished, so to speak.
The fact that both Diaz and Alvarado, two fan-friendly fighters, were on the same card ignited fans into believing that these two men could somehow face one another. As is often the case, fighters on the same card in separate bouts are used as a promotional tool to set up a fight in the future.
It would be an awesome scrap and they are perfect for each other theoretically. But, in actuality, they are far off in weight—not in pounds, but in physical limitations. There is little to no reason to believe these two men would actually face off given the physical toll it would take for either fighter to get to the other’s fighting weight, but if they could somehow enter the pound for pound style time machine then it would probably be the only meaningful fight either man has left.
That said, Diaz can still find a fight or two that would at least draw interest from the boxing world—the benefit of being a fun fighter with an easy-to-match style.