Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz has withdrawn from his planned appearance on HBO’s December 10th Terence Crawford-John Molina Jr. card, citing injury. Louisiana prospect Mason Menard has agreed to take his place against former title challenger Ray Beltran.
"Rock Hard Mighty" Menard (32-1, 24 KO) has not lost since his third pro bout. 2016 has been something of a breakout year for him thanks to a stunning one-punch knockout of Eudy Bernardo and subsequent thrashing of Bahodir Mamadjonov, both on ShoBox.
The addition of Menard turns what was a moderately-interesting bout between aging veterans into an intriguing crossroads fight. Beltran (31-7-1, 19 KO) has had a rough go of things since being robbed against Ricky Burns in 2013. He was soundly beaten by Terence Crawford in 2014, had a shot at the vacant WBO title nullified by missing weight and then failing a drug test after knocking out Takahiro Ao, and has spent 2016 in uninteresting eight-rounders.
HBO will also show the fight between Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz Jr. on tape delay.