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News & Views: Choi passes, Diaz-Campbell on, Chavez returning, more

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

News: Former WBC junior flyweight champion Yo-Sam Choi passed away at roughly midnight on Wednesday. Choi had been declared brain dead by a panel of doctors in South Korea after two thorough examinations this week, and the decision was made to take the fighter off of his ventilator. He was 35.

Views: Choi won the WBC strap in 1999 and defended it four times before losing to the rising Jorge Arce in 2002. What is most regrettable about Choi's passing is the diary entries and personal thoughts of his that were found and reported after he fell into the coma following his win over Heri Amol. It is very clear that Choi was emotionally disturbed and suffering from severe depression, at the least. I'm not saying the fight had anything to do with that, or that Choi's death does, either. But it's a shame that the man wasn't happy in life, and that he didn't find peace before his passing.

Bad Left Hook sends our thoughts to Choi's loved ones.

News: The lightweight title fight between WBA/WBO/IBF champion Juan Diaz and challenger Nate Campbell will be part of HBO's March 8 broadcast from Cancun, Mexico, headlined by the long-awaited WBC heavyweight title bout between Oleg Maskaev and Samuel Peter. [Boxing Scene]

Views: Well, I know what I'll be tuning in for that night. Diaz and Campbell have both signed the contract, which is good -- it should be a worthwhile fight, as I quite like Diaz against much of anybody. He punches in such volume that you can't have a boring fight, and I now am intrigued to see his opponents try to combat the constant flow of fists.

Popo Freitas wasn't able to get past it, and Julio Diaz did even worse. How will Campbell do? What will Campbell do? He has good power, but so does Julio Diaz, who was just never given a chance to get off with his punches. Campbell is a good fighter and deserves the title shot he's earned not once, but twice. Actually, Campbell and Peter are in much the same boat on the same card. Both guys fought two eliminators and were continually ducked, and now will finally get their true shots.

But as much as I respect Campbell's ability, he's 35. He's never quite gotten to the top of the mountain, and I think logic says he would have if he was going to. I quite liked his chances against Julio Diaz, but that never came to pass. Against Juan? I just can't see it. "The Baby Bull" fights too hard, and with too much vigor. He just punches too damn much. The type of fighter I see beating Juan Diaz is a Katsidis-type guy who can stand and trade and throw heavy fists, because as much as Diaz punches, he's not a big hitter. I don't know if Nate Campbell has the stamina or the fortitude to keep up the pace with Diaz.

It should be entertaining, though, either way. And plans are in motion for the scrapped Diaz-Katsidis fight to be revisited should Juan beat Campbell and Katsidis beat Joel Casamayor in March 22. Here's hoping.

News: Former lightweight and super featherweight world champion Jesus Chavez will return to the ring on February 8, about a year after re-injuring his knee in a technical knockout loss to Julio Diaz. The bout will be televised from Boston on Telefutura, and no opponent has been named.

Views: In his time, Chavez (42-4, 29 KO) was a hell of a good fighter. His losses have come to Diaz on an injury, Erik Morales via unanimous decision, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., in a hard-fought ninth round TKO, and an early career defeat at the hands of Carlos Gerena in 1995, which he avenged in 2003. But his knee is in very bad shape, and I find it highly unlikely we'll see him back at a championship level. If he does well, though, his manager told Boxing Scene that they plan to get him back into the ring two or three more times this year. His comeback fight won't be anything big, just a "test the waters" fight, to quote the manager. I welcome him back and wish him all the best, but he's fighting the odds here.

News: Zahir Raheem returns to action on ESPN2's Friday Night Fighzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

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