Friday, May 24, 2024  |



Carlos Diaz faces Eleazar Valenzuela in bounce back fight from first loss

Carlos Diaz (left) battles Emanuel Lopez in October 2017.
Fighters Network

Carlos Diaz is a firm believer of the phrase ’boxing is the theatre of the unexpected.’

The fringe junior welterweight contender is attempting to bounce back from the only loss of his pro career in a fight where he had Jose Zepeda down and almost out. Diaz hopes for a rematch against Zepeda, but is also aiming for a world title shot.

Diaz will need to defeat journeyman Eleazar Valenzuela Saturday night at the Grand Hotel in Tijuana, Mexico. The 10-round bout will air live on Azteca TV (Channel 7) throughout Mexico.

Saturday will mark Diaz’s first fight in almost two years. In that fight, which took place in May 2019, Diaz, who lives and trains in the boxing hotbed of Guadalajara, Mexico, defeated Emmanuel Herrera by unanimous decision over eight rounds.

Diaz (28-1, 13 knockouts) compiled a modest unbeaten record before stepping up in opposition against contender Jose Zepeda in June 2018. Diaz dropped Zepeda in round 4 and looked as though he would score a knockout victory, but was stopped by Zepeda during the following round. Zepeda, who is currently ranked No. 3 by The Ring, would challenge WBC junior welterweight titleholder Jose Ramirez less than eight months later, losing a very close decision.

The 26-year-old Diaz notched his most significant victory as a pro in May 2016, defeating former world title challenger Roberto Marroquin by unanimous decision. He also has wins over Emanuel Lopez and Jesus Antonio Perez. 

Valenzuela (22-13-4 2 NC, 16 KOs), who resides in Guasave, Mexico, last fought on August 21, defeating previously-unbeaten Omar Chavez Medina by unanimous decision. Valenzuela appeared in action eight weeks before the Chavez fight against WBC junior lightweight titleholder Miguel Berchelt in a non-title fight. Berchelt was announced the winner by knockout in round 6, but the official outcome of the fight was a no-contest due to no local commission being present at ringside because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Valenzuela has faced and lost to world junior lightweight title challenger Jono Carroll, WB0 featherweight titleholder Emanuel Navarrete, and former world WBO flyweight titleholder Zou Shiming.

In the co-feature, featherweight prospect Carlos Lopez (13-0-2, 4 KOs) of Bahia de Banderas, Mexico will square off against Marcos Munoz (14-1, 11 KOs) in an eight-round bout.

Opening the Azteca TV telecast will be bantamweight Paulette Valenzuela (9-1, 4 KOs) of Tijuana in an eight-round bout against Mexico City’s Margarita Angeles (3-6-2, 1 KO). 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing