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Baddest Man On The Planet
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By Sammy Rozenberg

It was graduation time in at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Undefeated WBA champion, Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz (32-0, 16 KOs) broke the will of Acelino “Popo” Freitas (38-2, 32 KOs) by making him quit on his stool before the start of the ninth round and adds the WBO lightweight title in the process. Diaz, a 23-year-old boxing pedigree, wins the biggest fight of his career in impressive fashion.

Freitas came out strong in the first three rounds. He used his movement and countering punching abilities while Diaz kept moving forward with constant pressure. Freitas seemed to rattle Diaz with a counter at the end of the second round, but never once rattled him again.

In the fifth round, Diaz, known for a lack of punching power, shocked most boxing experts by rocking Freitas badly with an assortment of combinations that forced the veteran to hold on for dear life. Diaz began to pace himself at this point, and dug to the body while coming forward and landing combinations, more specifically the left hand to the head.

As the rounds went by, Diaz got stronger and Freitas began to lose the steam on his punches. During the eight round, Diaz once again rocked Freitas with a combination that had him reeling all over the ring. After the round came to an end, Freitas was a mentally beaten fighter as he sat in his corner. The corner tried to rally him for the next round, but Freitas had already made up his mind, quitting on his stool moments later.

The ending was reminiscent of Freitas's bout with Diego Corrales, where he got off to fast start, but mentally broke down and later quit in the tenth round as Corrales was consistently hurting him with power punches. After quitting in two of his biggest fights when the going got tough, Freitas is possibly a mentally shot fighter who should hang up the gloves before he gets seriously hurt in the ring.

Diaz has now stamped his position as the second best lightweight in the world. The most logical choice for a payday at 135-pounds would be a mega-bout with Joel Casamayor, who is coming off a trilogy winning effort over Diego Corrales last October. Casamayor has been inactive while chasing a major fight, but regarded as the best fighter at the weight by most boxing experts. He was watching the Diaz-Freitas duel from ringside and appeared to be very eager to fight the young professional.

Diaz, while lacking a knockout punch, loves to fight and forces his opponents to fight because he never stops coming forward and properly paces himself to throw a high volume of punches for an entire twelve round stanza without getting tired along the way.

There is always the slight possibility of luring one of the top super featherweights to make 5-pound jump in weight. Highly unlike when you take a look at all the money at 130-pounds. Big names like Marco Antonio Barrera, Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez and Edwin Valero can make more money by fighting each other than taking a huge risk by moving up in weight.

Not every fighter is willing to stay put. Unbeaten Joan Guzman is making the leap to lightweight in few weeks when he meets Michael Katsidis in the main event of an HBO Boxing After Dark telecast. Guzman’s style and physical abilities are very similar to the makeup of Diaz.

Guzman loves to fight and also lacks a knockout punch. Like Diaz, he slowly breaks his opponents down with consistent pressure fight accurate punching by throwing in high volumes. A Diaz-Guzman collision would make for one hell of a fight. It may not happen in the near future as Diaz appears to have mentally set himself towards unifying the division and possibly facing Casamayor.

“I want the other champions. You give me a champion and I’ll fight him. I want to unify the division. If Casamayor wants to fight, give me Casamayor and we will fight,” Diaz said.
 
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