Christopher Diaz once had a taste of being in a world title fight and is now looking to get back to title contention.
After failing to capture the WBO super featherweight title last summer in Florida, losing to Masayuki Ito in a spirited fight on ESPN+, Ito went back down to featherweight and see if he can fight for a title at that weight class. His first real test since losing to Ito comes in the form of highly-touted prospect Shakur Stevenson, who enters their fight on April 20 with a perfect 10-0 record.
In an exclusive interview with Fightful during fight week, Diaz knows that the winner of the fight could be well on his way to a featherweight title shot.
“That’s what it’s all about. That’s what we want. I want to fight the champions and I proved I can hang with the best of them when I fought Masayuki Ito. We know that we’re at 126 pounds and we’re ready,” Diaz said.
Focusing on the present matter, the fight between Diaz and Stevenson is perhaps the most interesting one on paper of that April 20 boxing card at Madison Square Garden. Diaz is a grizzled veteran compared to Stevenson, who is only 21 years old, but Stevenson is one of Top Rank’s biggest rising stars. This will be Stevenson’s first major test as a pro and the clashing styles between the two fighters could make for a potentially show-stealing bout, according to Diaz.
“That’s what I’ve always been saying. It’ll be the best fight of the night and steal the show. Shakur Stevenson is coming in here prepared for everything. I’m ready for it. That’s how I’ve always been and it’ll be the best bout of the night,” Diaz said.
On to the topic of the vast difference in experience between the two. Stevenson has performed admirably in all 10 of his wins and has shown signs of significant growth during his short career. But Stevenson hasn’t faced many fighters like Diaz in the paid ranks and that’s something the younger fighter has to be fearful about, says Diaz.
“He should be worried about that and he knows that and in his head, he knows that he’s never faced anyone like me in the ring. No one’s really hit him hard so far and we’ll see how he responds when I hit him. It’s gonna be a war and when it’s all said and done, I want Shakur to think back on his career and say that I was the toughest opponent he has ever faced,” Diaz said.
The fight will be a part of the Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan pay-per-view card at Madison Square Garden. Fightful will have live coverage of the entire card from New York City. You can watch Diaz’s interview with Fightful in Spanish in the video at the top of the page. An English transcript can be seen in the description of the video page which can be seen at this link.