By John Garita
Diego “La Joya” Chaves (22-0, 18 KOs) from San Miguel, Argentina comes from a boxing family. Having spent a brief period of time in the junior divisions of Argentine club Velez Sársfield, Chaves is certainly a talented athlete. But with the biggest fight of his career coming up against Keith “One Time” Thurman (19-0, 18 KOs) on July 27, boxing fans are wondering just who Chaves really is.
Chaves was a bronze medalist in the 2007 Pan American Games. He also is the current World Boxing Association interim champion in the 147 pound Welterweight division.
Although he’s flown under the radar of the American boxing public, he is an exciting, heavy-handed fighter with a penchant for knockouts—similar to his countrymen Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse.
John Garita of Round By Round Boxing caught up with Chaves before his highly anticipated bout with the undefeated Al Haymon fighter, Thurman.
RBRBoxing: Diego, this will be your second fight in the United States. The first being against Edvan Dos Santos Barros, which you won by unanimous decision in six rounds. How do you feel about fighting in the United States for the second time?
DC: USA is a very magnificent place to come to box. It’s very special for me to box in the United States because it’s the capital of boxing. This is where all the great boxers fight.
RBRBoxing: You will fight Keith Thurman. How will you win this fight and what will be your blueprint to defeat Thurman?
DC: Thurman is a strong boxer. He has strong power punches. After the 4th round Thurman will start to lose his speed and movement. Starting in the 3rd or 4th round, I am going to start working on him.
RBRBoxing: What round do you think the fight will end?
DC: My team and I feel that this fight will not last longer than 10 rounds.
RBRBoxing: Do you feel any pressure fighting against an undefeated contender like Keith Thurman?
DC: Pressure on me? No. I have no pressure at all. I think that the pressure is on him because we are going to box on his territory. So he is the one who needs to defend his territory.
RBRBoxing: Is Keith Thurman one of the hardest opponents you have faced so far in your boxing career?
DC: This is the most important fight of my career so far. Because after this fight the people will see the true boxer that I am. This fight will open doors for me and bring infinite opportunities.
RBRBoxing: Final question what is your dream match? Who would you like to fight in the future?
DC: As you know my main focus is Thurman. After this match I would like to fight Adrien Broner. Because he is a great boxer and I would like to unify our titles.
RBRBoxing: Thank you for taking time to speak with us!
DC: I just want to tell my people to stay calm and that we will still hold down the title. And for people to support the entire event as much possible. Thank you to all the fans for the support.
Watch Diego Chaves vs. Keith Thurman on Showtime, Saturday, July 27, 2013.
This interview was conducted firsthand by John Garita for Round By Round Boxing. Photo edit by John Garita. John is a photographer and Contributing Writer for RoundByRoundBoxing. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @Jay23oth
John is a Lead Photographer and Graphic Designer for Round By Round Boxing. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @Jay23oth.