Juan Diaz earns college degree
You don’t hear this too often: A world-class boxer has become a college graduate.
Juan Diaz, who has studied at the University of Houston-Downtown while pursuing world titles in the ring, will receive his bachelor’s degree in political science on Sunday during the University's commencement ceremonies at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The former three-time lightweight titleholder also was honored last week with an academic achievement award from the social sciences department at UHD for students who demonstrated scholastic excellence as well as a commitment to their field of study.
Diaz obviously is very excited. He’s considering law school.
“This feels like I'm becoming a world champion for the first time, it's that big of an accomplishment to me,” Diaz said. “After going through school all of the years, it feels like a huge burden has lifted off of my back. I'm going to take the rest of this year and next year to focus on boxing and see where it takes me, but I'm also going to take the LSAT review course and apply to Law School so that I always have that as an option in the future.”
Those close to him are proud.
“When Juan turned pro, he made it clear he wanted to go to college and I insisted on it from the beginning,” said Willie Savannah, Diaz's manager. “I've always told him he could be whatever he wanted to be and I'm more proud of him than words can express. He has never slacked off from school and has continued to excel in boxing and school, breaking records in both.
“I love him like he's my son, and think it's really important for all boxers to learn from Juan and to earn a college education so they have a plan after boxing is over.”
Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions and Diaz’s promoter, agrees.
“I'm very proud of Juan for what he's accomplished and he remains a shining example of everything that's right in this sport,” De La Hoya said. “He's a champion in and out of the ring and a role model for every young person out there. On behalf of everyone at Golden Boy Promotions, we congratulate Juan on this outstanding accomplishment.”