By Jim Dower: Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz (42-4, 20 KOs) won his seventh consecutive fight on Saturday night in stopping an overmatched Cesar Vazquez (28-3, 16 KOs) by an 8th round knockout at the Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona. Using a strong body attack, Diaz, a former IBF/WBA/WBO lightweight champion, took the fight to Vazquez from round one and worked him over with hard shots.
In the 8th round, the referee stepped in and halted the fight to keep Vazquez from getting seriously hurt. Diaz was teeing off on Vazquez in the last couple of rounds and it was clear that the fight needed to be stopped.
The official time of the stoppage was at 2:09 of the round. Diaz needs to step it up against better competition so that he can get pushed up the rankings quicker. It’s going to take him a considerable amount of time for him to get ranked high enough for him to become a mandatory for one of the lightweight champions.
This was the 32-year-old Diaz’s second win since coming back from a torn left rotator cuff that he suffered over a year ago. Diaz missed all of 2015 due to the injury. He came back last March and has looked good. Diaz would have gotten a title shot by now if not for his shoulder injury. Before he hurt his shoulder, he had won four consecutive fights and was ranked in the top 15.
Diaz believes he still has the talent to win another world title. I’m not sure that he has what it takes to beat any of the champions right now in the lightweight division. Diaz would be better off losing some of the fat that he has around his midsection and get down to super featherweight to see if he can win a belt in that division.
Diaz’s punching power would be better if he were fighting super featherweights rather than lightweights. However, it’s unclear whether Diaz would be able to lose the five pounds that he would need to drop in order for him to get down to the 130lb division. He’s been carrying around a lot of fat around his sides his entire career and it’s questionable whether Diaz could lose the weight even if he wanted to. The lightweights in the division are too young and strong for Diaz, and I think he’ll have problems when/if he faces any of them. It would be better off if Diaz moved to super featherweight to compete against smaller guys.