When you read my post headline, you probably assume that its simply a showcase fight for the Pac-Man (46-3-2, 35 KO) to pick up an easy lightweight title belt. However, I know better. And so should you.
If you are wondering why you should know better, I’ll let you in on a little secret. David Diaz (34-1-1, 17 KO) is not that bad. In fact, he’s pretty decent. In 1996, Diaz defeated Zab Judah twice to make the Olympic team. He compiled a gaudy amateur record of 160-16, including four Chicago Golden Gloves championships and three National Golden Gloves titles. You’re probably wondering why it has taken Diaz so long to get a big fight prior to this.
To answer that question, I’ll let you in on another secret. Diaz is not that good either. Not to knock the guy, who has had his share of personal struggles (family death and illness) outside of the ring, but most of his career has been littered with easy opponents and unimpressive victories. His modest 47% KO percentage illustrates that.
When David Diaz steps into the ring against the #2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world in Manny Pacquiao, he’ll be facing the best opponent that he has faced in the ring since he met Zab Judah twelve years ago as an amateur. The good news is that he knows what it takes to beat a hyper-kinetic, power-punching southpaw (Judah). The bad news is that he beat Judah at the tender age of 20, nearly 12 years ago.
Why have I said so little about Manny Pacquiao? His actions, speak louder than anything I can say. What he brings to the table is not in question; Diaz’s credentials are. Despite the natural size advantage, I feel that Diaz comes up short in most categories that matter (competition, conditioning, hand speed and power). Boxing lore states that a good big man always beats a good little man. I tend to agree. But therein lies the problem for Diaz. He is decent, not good, and that will make all the difference Saturday night (Pacquiao UD12 Diaz).