Toyota Center to host home-grown fight card

July 9, 2008 7:50:43 PM PDT
For the first time, Toyota Center is going to host a boxing event on Sept. 6. It makes perfect sense because the headliners will be a former Olympic medalist and a former world lightweight champ, so you know the quality will be there.

And, both fighters are Houstonians.

Juan Diaz and Rocky Juarez are both coming off defeats, but promoting their upcoming fights on Sept. 6 is easy because both are coming home and because both fighters put on great shows. Juarez was a 2000 Olympic silver medalist, but thought by now, he would have added a world title to his Olympic achievement. He's had three shots but has fallen short each time.

"Every fight I've lost has always been by decision against great fighters," Juarez said. "I'm definitely looking forward to getting my shot and winning my title."

Diaz's latest defeat was also his first as a pro and it took from him the WBA, WBO and IBF lightweight titles.

"I don't think I've gotten over it yet. I think that once I win this fight on Sept. 6 and get on the people's mind that I am the true lightweight champion of the world, I think that's when it's gonna go away.

But it got Diaz away from promoter Don King. Now he's being promoted by Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. for the Sept. 6 card. While Juarez meets Jorge Barrios, Diaz will face Australian Michael Katsidis, who some say doesn't mind taking a punch so he can throw two in return.

"I do mind getting' hit. I hate getting' hit, and that's why I hit worse," he said. "I don't know where they got that idea from, but when I get hit, I'm going to hit back more.

And Toyota Center and Golden Boy Promotions are hoping this fight card will make boxing fans want more just like it.

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