Joel Diaz, Tim Bradley’s Trainer Interview: “Tim needs to win this fight and he needs to win it decisively”
By: Francisco Martinez
Former boxer now turned trainer Joel Diaz has guided Timothy Bradley Jr. to a career worthy of “Hall of fame” induction at some point after Bradley Jr. retires from the sport of boxing. Joel Diaz not only trains Timothy Bradley Jr. but various young boxers from former world champions like “Vicious” Victor Ortiz to up and coming prospects like Diego Magdaleno who plan on following stable mate Timothy Bradley Jr’s success with the help of one of the top trainers in boxing today. Boxinginsider.com has an exclusive from Joel Diaz as he talked to us about his large stable of boxers and the upcoming bout against Jessie Vargas whom his prized pupil Timothy Bradley Jr. faces on June 27th at the StubHub center “The home of the upsets”.
Boxinginsider.com: “Vargas started the press conference with Roy Jone Jr. As his trainer and now he’s ending camp with Erik Morales. Do you think that’s a mistake being that Morales doesn’t have much experience as a trainer besides guiding his brothers (Ivan Morales) very young career up to this point. Do you think that’s a mistake he’s making going into this fight?” (Both Roy Jones Jr. and Erik Morales had two of the best careers in boxing however are relatively inexperienced when it comes to guiding boxers throughout an actual training camp and being in the corner come fight night)
Joel Diaz: “Well I don’t know if it’s a mistake maybe things didn’t go well with him and Roy Jones or something happened there. Whatever happened it was just not the right approach going into a big fight like this. Switching trainers in such a big important fight like this one is not right. Roy Jones has a style and his style he tries to introduce his style to fighters as a trainer. Now, going into a completely different style with Erik Morales of course Jessie still has some of the style that was taught to him back when Robert Alcazar use to train him. So he’s been from trainer to trainer and at the end of the day you’ll see in that fight he’s going to get confused. He’s going to try and do something that is new to him in a important fight like this”
Boxinginsider.com: “Is this a must win situation for Bradley being that he’s facing a young fighter that they’re pushing to be the next star in boxing?”
Joel Diaz: “Definitely. Tim needs to win this fight and he needs to win it decisively. He needs to basically make a statement even though Jessie Vargas is no push over. He’s a world champion (former WBA, IBO world champion) and he’s a young up and coming fighter he’s at the point where Bradley was at one point. So he wants to be at that level where Bradley is now so it is very important it’s a must for Bradley to win this fight”
Boxinginsider.com: “Tell us about how it is balancing all these fighters you have. You have Diego Magdaleno who’s fighting at some point within this month (June) and then you have Bradley. How is that balancing act?”
Joel Diaz: “It’s a little hard but everything works out at the end of the day. I established a team of trainers. I got my brother (Antonio Diaz) and I have other trainers that I have been training for a few years so they all train the way I train. They know my style and we stick to my style. Diego Magdaleno fights a day (June 26th) before Bradley so the day of the weigh ins I’m flying to Texas and after Diego Magdaleno’s fight I fly back on Saturday morning. It’s just part of business you know. Diego Magdaleno is in great shape I mean yesterday he showed me that. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to win that fight to. I’m flying to Texas on Friday early morning to be there for his fight Friday night and then I’m flying back Saturday morning for Bradley’s fight (Carson, CA) Saturday night. At the same time I got part of my team with Diego I got part of my team with Bradley. Wherever I go i split my team I can’t do it on my own. All these great fighters in my camp I can’t handle on my own”
Boxinginsider.com: “Victor Ortiz has been in and out with you in camp. He’s been doing a lot of talking, calling out a few big names for rematches one in specifically with (Floyd) Mayweather. What do you think about Ortiz being that he hasn’t really been in the gym much but he’s doing a whole lot of talking?”
Joel Diaz: “Victor needs to prove himself first of all. Me as his trainer, Victor needs to show more then just talk. If he wants attention he’s getting it but not in the right way. He needs to get back in the gym and start training and then from there we go and he needs to start winning. He needs to start fighting. He needs to stay active. He needs to keep winning and get to that point again where he belongs in those kind of fights again because he lost to every single opponent”
Boxinginsider.com: “People don’t take him serious because he’s not in the gym much he doesn’t fight much and then he comes up with this injury that’s rumored to have happened during a skateboard accident. What do you think Ortiz has to do? Is he concentrating? Does he have that hunger to box and be at the top?”
Joel Diaz: “Honestly me as a trainer and an honest person I don’t see it. He’s a fighter himself and he’s always going to be a fighter. It’s like a retired fighter. A retired fighter always has that mentality he can come back but deep inside your heart you know you can’t. He trained with me for one fight and the hardest part of the training was the mental part. The training is something that we’re use to doing on a daily basis but the thing is the mental part is the most important part. We need to keep him here (points at head) he just can’t be out there talking to people and just approaching the wrong interviews”
Boxinginsider.com: “Do you think you can take him back to the top or is that something that lays within him?”
Joel Diaz: “Well let me tell you something, it all depends on him. He needs to put himself in one place. He can’t be in different places at the same time. He needs to say, you know what I want to be a world champion again and dedicate himself two, three more years and he’ll do it but if he’s just wondering around the world and saying he’s still a boxer it’s not going to happen”
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