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Joseph Diaz Jr: Loss will make me a hungrier fighter

Joseph Diaz Jr doesn’t plan to wallow in defeat.

Gary Russell Jr. v Joseph Diaz Jr. Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Joseph Diaz Jr took the first loss of his pro career on Saturday night, when he fell short in a challenge for the WBC featherweight title against Gary Russell Jr.

But the former Olympian says he won’t let the defeat get him down:

“This will just make me a hungrier fighter. I hope I got the respect of a lot of fight fans. I wanted to become champion against the best featherweight fighter in the world. Tonight wasn’t my night but I’m going to bounce back harder and I’ll be champion soon.”

Diaz (26-1, 14 KO) fought hard but was beaten by adjustments made by Russell over the course of the bout. That said, I thought he looked like someone plenty capable of winning a world title at some point — his body attack early in the fight was pretty effective, and with more experience he should be able to make his own mid-fight adjustments against tougher opposition in the future.

What do you think of Diaz right now? Did he establish himself as a real contender, or do you think he got as close as he’ll get?

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