Joel Diaz to pull double-duty with Tim Bradley, Victor Ortiz
Trainer Joel Diaz will be pulling double-duty in Las Vegas on Dec. 13, doing so at separate venues that are slightly over a half-mile apart on shows to be televised on two different cable networks.
If things go according to plan, Diaz will first work the corner of former welterweight beltholder Victor Ortiz (29-5-2, 22 knockouts) for his bout against Manuel Perez (22-10-1, 4 KOs) at the MGM Grand. Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, the Showtime Extreme telecast to begin at 7 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Later, Diaz will be with two-division titleholder Tim Bradley (31-1, 12 KOs) as he faces Diego Chaves (23-2, 19 KOs) in a welterweight fight – and rebound bout – for both fighters.
Promoted by Top Rank Promotions, Bradley-Chaves will headline an HBO-televised tripleheader at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
During an earlier interview with RingTV.com, Ortiz said that he has been working with Diaz alongside Bradley, 31, “for maybe a total of 12 weeks now.”
“It has absolutely been great. I have a lot of respect for Timothy Bradley. He’s a little older than I am and I understand him when he’s got something to say. I’m like a sponge and I can sit back and really appreciate what it’s like being around a champion like himself,” said Ortiz, 27.
“There’s no sparring going on between us; we’re just supporting each other. He comes and supports me in my training and I come and support him during his training. I’ve been there for maybe a total of 12 weeks now, so it’s been perfect at this point.”
Diaz supplied further details on the logistics of fight night as well as the training camp in the following excerpts.
Joel Diaz on the logistics of working two corners at different venues on the same night:
“When you have stable and you have a team, I’ve always believed that not just one person can handle so much. That’s why you’ve got to have a strong team and I think that I have a very strong team. When I got the call from Victor, he became a part of my camp. He’s another one of the guys that I have here. Hey, we’ve got to make it work one way or another.
“Victor knows. He’s very well aware that Bradley, obviously, is my priority. Victor’s manager said, ‘We understand that at the end of the night, we can make it work for you where we can have Victor fight like two or three hours difference from Bradley.’ I’m thinking, ‘That works.’ I can be there. If you give me two or three hours where I can be there, of course. If not, then the other part of my team is going to be with Victor while I’m going to be with Tim.
“When Al Haymon called me about Victor, they told me that they were going to make it possible. They were going to have Victor fighting early, like at 5 or 6 p.m., on Showtime Extreme. If that’s the time and the schedule, then it shouldn’t be a problem…When I get to Vegas, I’ll know the schedule. By Wednesday, I’ll know it. I’ll have all of that information.”
On the dynamics of coaching Bradley and Ortiz, fighters with different styles and strategies who are at different points in their respective careers:
“As a trainer, you learn to deal and to manage everybody’s situation. So I’ve worked with different fighters, different strategies, different ways, so I know their styles by now. By now, I’m aware of Victor. With the time that I’ve worked with him, I’m aware of Victor. I mean, with Tim? Tim is like my brother. I know Tim. I know when he’s not feeling good. I can just see it in his face. Just by the way that he’s walking in the gym. I know him very, very well. I’m not stressing about it.
“I’m actually excited. I take on any challenge, and I know that on that day, I’m a true believer that everything will fall into place on that day. It’s a simple as that. Of course, I have my responsibilities but at the same time, I always prepare myself. My team, I have Antonio [Diaz] and I have Jose [Rodriguez] and then Victor has his strength-and-conditioning coach who has been with him forever, Coach Hoss [Joseph Janik]. He’s always there.
“They know that if I will not make it to Victor’s fight, that I’ve put the strategy together and I’m already training him, so my brother knows exactly what he needs to do and my brother’s got it. If the timing is not proper for me to be there, then I’m not going to be there. I’m going to be with Tim…I would like to be there with Victor.”
On the interaction between Bradley and Ortiz:
“I know Tim’s days of training and I know his strength-and-conditioning schedule and I know that Thursdays, that he does track. And when he does track, he does it for three hours or three-and-a-half hours of work on the track. So one day, I said, ‘I’m going to bring Victor along.’ Victor didn’t know where we were going.
“So Victor only needs some mental help. He’s a strong kid and he’s got a lot of potential and a lot of ability to do the sport but he needs that strengthening in the brain. So, I told him, ‘Hey, we’re gonna go for a drive and we’re doing to do some work.’ He didn’t know that we were coming with Tim.
“So when we got him to the track, I told him that, ‘You’re going to work today. You’ll get some real work.’ And he did. He got some real work. He never thought that he and Tim would do what they did. They did three hours of work and Tim finishes on the track and then he goes straight to the gym from there.
“Victor goes, ‘Man, he’s crazy.’ And I said, ‘That’s right. That’s why he is who he is.’ So they started communicating and they started getting to know each other and it was just that I liked the fact that they got to know each other.
“I saw that Victor, he was slowing down a little bit and Tim was like, ‘Hey, come on, come on; let’s suck it up. Let’s go.’ And that right there, really, mentally, really brings him up. I believe this and, believe me, iron sharpens iron and that’s what’s gonna happen.”
On Ortiz’s progress:
“Since Victor has come here and we have been working together, he’s showing me what I want. He’s showing me my style of fighting. That’s what I want to see. I want to see a new Victor. I think that we’re going to see a new Victor inside and outside of the ring.”