Juan Diaz (right) has officially decided to retire from boxing. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz has released a public statement on his retirement from boxing. Diaz, who turns 28 in September, was set to return after a one-year layoff on July 29 with a fight on ESPN's Friday Night Fights, but recently decided against it and decided to head to law school instead. Here's part of his statement:
After 110 amateur fights, 39 professional fights, and 19 years of sparring, training, and everything that comes with being a competitive athlete, I am announcing my retirement from boxing. This is not a decision that I take lightly. However, after extensive consultation with my family and team, we agreed that is time for me to hang up my gloves and transition into the next stage of my professional life.
I am blessed to have won 13 National Gold Medals, two National Silver Medals, four World Championships - which I successfully defended six times – and fought in the 2009 Fight of the Year. I also was awarded a spot on the 2000 Mexican National Olympic Team. Along the way, I competed against many of the top fighters in the lightweight division, and I always put my heart into every fight. I could not have asked for a better career.
While boxing, I maintained a full-time academic schedule, graduating from high school and earning my college degree from the University of Houston. I’ve always thought of myself as a student first, and a boxer second, and I am just as proud of my academic achievements as I am of my boxing accomplishments. Along the way, I promised my family and myself that I would retire from boxing as soon as the time was right. So, even though my heart still has the fire to compete, the wars in the ring have taken their toll and it’s time for me to make good on that promise.
Diaz retires with a record of 35-4 (17 KO), and has several plans outside of his education, too. He has a radio show on ESPN Deportes in Houston, he has a trucking company with his brother -- I think he's going to be OK outside of boxing. Bad Left Hook wishes the "Baby Bull" all the best with this decision.