Carlos Diaz (left) battles Emanuel Lopez in October 2017.
A knockout loss in his last bout is not going to deter former lightweight Carlos Diaz from his goal of a world title shot.
Diaz returns to action Saturday night when he squares off against Jesus Perez at the Arena Oasis in Cancun, Mexico. The 10-round junior welterweight bout will air live on Azteca TV throughout Mexico.
The 23-year-old Diaz was an unbeaten contender at 135 pounds, ranked as high as No. 3 by the WBO, when he squared off against hard-hitting Jose Zepeda on June 16. Diaz started out well, dropping his opponent in Round 4 before getting hurt and knocked out by Zepeda one round later.
Because of the loss, Diaz (26-1, 13 knockouts) was dropped from the rankings and decided to move up to 140 pounds for the Perez fight.
Diaz, who resides on the boxing hotbed of Guadalajara, Mexico, is still one of Zanfer Promotions’ top fighters. They believe Diaz can become a contender again with a win over Perez.
“Diaz is the better boxer in this fight,” Zanfer Promotions liaison Sean Gibbons told The Ring on Wednesday evening. “Jesus Perez brings a lot of heart and determination into this fight.
“I have to take my hat off to Carlos and Jesus for both taking this fight. It is a very intriguing fight with two guys with one loss.”
Perez (22-1, 17 KOs) last fought on July 28 in his hometown of Tijuana, Mexico, stopping overmatched Dario Medina in the opening round.
The 21-year-old Perez suffered the only blemish of his career on May 5, losing by unanimous decision to junior welterweight prospect Ruslan Madiev.
Also on the Zanfer Promotions card, Guadalupe Martinez (17-9, 6 KOs) will defend her WBC junior bantamweight title against Yulihan Luna Avila (16-2-1, 2 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
Francisco A. Salazar can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.
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