Link: Boxing Scene
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Juan Diaz has been dropped by Don King -- and I mean that. King could have made noise about keeping Diaz under his watch if he felt like it, but the Diaz team, in particular manager Willie Savannah, had become too much for King to deal with. I rarely will go out on a limb to save face for Don King or any other promoter, but the more that came out in that story, what sane person didn't see through the bullshit and blame Savannah?
Now, Team Diaz has issued a press release with the following quote: "It seems ironic that this was the 36-year old Campbell's best performance in years and his team didn't rush him to get his drug test."
These are strong, stupid words from Diaz and his handlers. Without Don King behind him (and a lawyer that quit on him in February, too), it's not a good idea to throw around steroid allegations. It's not a good idea to do it, period, unless you have some actual proof other than, "This guy just beat our ass, and we didn't expect that. We think he was on steroids."
And Campbell has fired back. Juan, welcome to the grown up world of pro boxing.
Some of Nate's more choice quotables:
"I don't need drugs to beat him because he's not that good."
"He was bleeding an awful lot. Guys who take steroids and get cut bleed a lot. If he wants to do a drug test, we can do it."
"His cutman sucked. He almost bled to death."
"Now we're seeing the real Juan Diaz. The college boy, the crybaby. What makes him any different than his brother, Jose Diaz? He got his jaw broken in his last fight and was exposed even worse. They're both kids, grow up. Move out of Mommy and Daddy's house. I'll come down to Houston and beat his fat ass for free."
For Juan Diaz, this is the first time he's faced any setbacks in pro boxing. He was the toast of the sport for a little while, hammering out impressive wins over Acelino Freitas and Julio Diaz last year.
But how good is his mental game? The only other time Diaz has been seriously tested as a pro, he at points looked like he wanted to give up, or like he was going to cry. He soldiered on and won the fight, and was very emotional afterward. With Campbell, a cut (caused by a punch, not a headbutt, which Juan knew even if the referee didn't) completely threw him off his game. Sure, Nate was fighting him well anyway, but that cut was game over, man. Game over. From that point on, Nate Campbell destroyed Diaz.
Frankly, it was like a man fighting a child.
I like Juan Diaz. But these are legitimate concerns. The two times we've seen the heat put on him in the ring, he's reacted questionably. And the one time he's lost, he comes out and accuses his conqueror of using steroids with no proof? That's childish horseshit at best, and grounds for a massive loss of respect at worst.