Photos: Juan Diaz Now Taking A Patient and Analytical Approach To Both Life and Fighting

Houston’s own Juan Diaz, is set to make his return to the boxing ring this Saturday at the Houston Arena Theater. The former unified WBA, WBO, and IBF lightweight champion not only returns to action, but returns to fight at home in front of his family, friends, and fans. The last time Diaz (40-4, 19 KOs) fought in Houston was in 2009. Diaz lost to Juan Manuel Marquez at the Toyota Center, but it was named the 2009 Fight of the Year by Ring Magazine.

After retiring from boxing in 2010 due to being exhausted from the sport (Diaz began boxing at age 8, turned pro at age 17, and became world champion at age 20), Diaz decided to make a comeback in 2013. Diaz was rejuvenated, and felt like a new fighter, but that suddenly changed when he tore his rotator cuff. Having to sit out 18 months, Diaz returned to training in November, and is ready to continue his mission to earning his fifth world title.

“The motivation is to become a 5-time world champion, that’s my biggest motivation. Coming from retirement, and all my life being told by a lot naysayers, “no he can’t do it, he’s too slow, doesn’t punch strong enough. He’s not going to be champion.” Well, I did it 4 times. So now, my goal is to do it 5 times, and to really leave an imprint in the history of boxing.”

Saturday night, Juan Diaz will face Fernando Garcia (30-7-2, 18 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout. The fight will be promoted by Top Rank and aired on UniMas.

Going into this fight with Garcia, Diaz plans to use a new strategy he’s learned during his time off to get the victory.

The biggest lesson that I’ve learned from my retirement and resting, is patience, and to analyze things as they come to me, and not to jump head first like I’ve done in the past. Which was just move forward, and attack relentlessly. Now, I look at not only boxing but life, I look at life one step at a time, and I analyze things before I actually commit to doing something.

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