Miguel Vazquez puts his IBF lightweight belt on the line on November 26. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
IBF lightweight titlist Miguel Vazquez will return to the ring on November 26 in Mexico, facing mandatory challenger Ameth Diaz, BoxingScene.com reports.
Vazquez (29-3, 13 KO) has become one of the top fighters in the 135-pound division since upsetting Breidis Prescott in July 2009 on ESPN Friday Night Fights. In all, he's rattled off eight straight wins, including his title-grabbing, dominant victory over slugger Ji-Hoon Kim, as well as a one-sided win over Aussie brawler Leonardo Zappavigna on the Cotto vs Mayorga card this past March. In his last fight, he knocked out Marlon Aguilar in the second round of a non-title fight.
Diaz (30-10, 21 KO) is a 28-year-old from Panama who has been stopped seven times and has lost in almost all of his steps up in competition. For whatever peculiar reason they might have had, the IBF sanctioned Diaz's August 5 fight with Zappavigna as a title eliminator, despite the fact that Diaz is considered a fringe contender at best, and Zappavigna had not been in the ring since getting blown out by Vazquez. On the road in Australia, Diaz put a beating on the limited "Lenny Zappa," and the corner stopped the fight in the fifth round.
It's a fight that Vazquez has to take to get it out of the way, more or less, and one that should give the 24-year-old technician little trouble. As always, it's worth noting that Vazquez has lost just three fights: His pro debut against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez at 140 pounds (a four-round split decision), a 2007 decision to Timothy Bradley at 140 pounds, and a 2008 decision in a rematch with Alvarez, just north of the welterweight limit.