Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. met members of the media on Thursday, just one week out of his WBC world title showdown against Gary Russell Jr. on Saturday, May 19, from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.
JOSEPH DIAZ JR.
“I have no hostility toward Gary Russell Jr. I respect Gary Russell Jr., and I know what he brings to the table. Ever since I was brought up as a professional fighter I was always humble and I was always down to earth. Now that I have the opportunity to become the champion that I know I can be I feel like I’m more outspoken because I know that the opportunity is finally here, and I know what I’m capable of doing.
“I want to fight the best at 126 pounds and I want to show all the fans that I’m the real deal. By fighting and bringing on the toughest 126 pounders like Gary Russell Jr., and defeating him, that’s going to showcase to the whole boxing world that I am the real deal and I will be the king at 126 pounds.
“He’s been inactive and used to fighting just once a year now. But what makes him so dangerous is he’s very, very speedy and has great hand speed. And not only that but he knows how to use his hand speed and counter when guys are opening up. My father and I know what we are bringing to the table, and I’m fast, as well. I have a very high boxing IQ and I’m very powerful in there. I know how to land sneaky body shots and I’m a big 126-pound fighter, and that will be the key to victory. He will try and land his power shots, but they’re not going to be effective because I’m the bigger fighter.
“I need to bring this WBC belt back to L.A. and to South El Monte. I’ll be the first champion coming out of there and I’m a role model to a lot of youth. That’s what makes me hungry and I’m one hundred percent confident I’ll be the champion and we will have a big parade in South El Monte, and you’re all invited!
“I’m like Pernell Whitaker and an Oscar De La Hoya mix. Pernell because he’s fast and Oscar because he applies the pressure and throws combinations. That’s what I plan on bringing to this fight. Applying the pressure and taking him to a point where he’s never been before. He drops his hands a lot and his defense is not that good, so I’ll be taking advantage of that. I’ll be landing body shots, and let’s see if he can take it for 12 rounds.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime. Fighting for a world title against Gary Russell Jr., is a dream come true. I feel like I’m so much better a fighter now than I was at the Olympics. If feel like if I fought that kid who was in the Olympics now I’d stop him in the first round. My management and trainers have groomed me for this fight on May 19. I fought some undefeated fighters, some experienced fighters and some real live dogs. I just feel like all the experience I’ve gained in the past will serve me well.
“I’d like to fight all the best in the 126-pound division, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Oscar Valdez and Lee Selby. These are big fights that I really want to make and I want to fight the best and be the best.”
Header photo by Lina Baker/Golden Boy Promotions