By Gabriel Montoya
At age 20, Boxing360 super featherweight prospect Joel Diaz, Jr, 9-0, 8 knockouts, is a prospect on the rise. He exploded into the consciousness of fight fans back in January in a Shobox fight with fellow prospect Guy Robb in a battle of undefeated fighters. After an early knockdown, Diaz rose and rallied to stop Robb in seven rounds. The win put Diaz on the radar for many fight fans. Since then he has had two wins and looks to face his stiffest test Saturday night at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington against veteran Emanuel Lucero, 26-10-1 with 14 knockouts. It is precisely for this type of test, that veteran trainer Abel Sanchez, who runs The Summit Gym in Big Bear, CA, was brought in following the Robb victory.
“Well, before the Guy Robb fight, Joel’s manager Mike Criscio called me and told me to look at him to see if I would be interested in working with him,’ Sanchez told Maxboxing.com Friday evening. “I saw the fight. Of course I was interested in working with him because he won the fight but also because he was raw and green. I’ve had him in the gym since then. He’s easy to work with. He has a lot of potential. He’s going to grow into a 140 pounder. He’s about 5’8-5’9” . . .”