Juan Diaz (right) lost twice to Juan Manuel Marquez, but thinks Marquez will be in over his head in November against Manny Pacquiao. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz hasn't fought since a second loss last July to Juan Manuel Marquez, but is reportedly planning a comeback and has had some beef with current lightweight trinketholder Brandon Rios. While Diaz says he respects Rios, it sounds like he's angling for a fight with the all-action Top Rank star in an interview with Chris Robinson, and he also weighed in on the next fight for his old rival Marquez.
On Pacquiao vs Marquez III:
"I believe that Pacquiao is going to blow him away. I think that Marquez is out of his league moving up and that was already proven when he fought Floyd Mayweather. Obviously you can't compare them too much, because Floyd Mayweather is one of the greatest fighters in the sport but so is Manny Pacquiao. And I don't think Marquez gains weight too good. He doesn't carry the weight too well."
This is a primary concern for many critics of Pacquiao vs Marquez III. I actually don't think the idea of those two fighting again really bugs anyone, it's just the timing and the weight. Even with Marquez getting it down to a 144-pound catchweight, the feeling among many is it's simply too heavy for him to be effective. Add in that he'll be 38 years old in November, and that's where the criticism comes from. It's not that Marquez isn't still a terrific fighter. He's still one of the best in the world. But he's very close to the end of his career. (And kudos to him for landing his biggest payday for the retirement fund, too.)
Diaz was reported to be a free agent in late March, as his deal with Golden Boy Promotions supposedly expired in December 2010. So the fighter could sign to face anyone, really, which gives him a lot of comeback options. Diaz talked about the ways that promoters and fighters see the sport differently:
"The managers have a strategic way to get you to the top so that you can make the most money possible while you are a champion. But for the promoters, it's just about money. Whatever fighter, fight can make them the most money, they are going to go for it. It doesn't matter if the public wants it or not, they are going to go for the biggest payday."
Diaz mentions no specifics about a comeback, but at 27 I still wouldn't mind seeing the Houston fighter get back into the mix at 135 pounds. He's not quite the fighter he was supposed to be, probably, but he brings action and he's got an actual fanbase at home, which is something that few American fighters can really say anymore, and I'm sure any promoter out there would love to get into the Juan Diaz business, given that he's faded, not seen as particularly dangerous, and yet good and marketable enough to have value still.