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Julio Diaz Wins IBF Lightweight Title
Juan Angel Zurita (May 14, 2004) 
Julio Diaz
Julio Diaz, the twenty four year old kid from Coachella, CA, finally realized his lifelong dream of becoming a world champion, by defeating Javier Jauregui via majority decision to win the IBF Lightweight Title at the San Diego Sports Arena, Thursday night before a hyped crowd of 2,000.

Diaz (30-2, 22 KOs) entered the bout as a 2-1 underdog, many doubting whether he'd be able to stand up to the relentless attack of Jauregui (47-11-2, 34 KOs) the tough veteran, who'd previously claimed victories over former WBC Lightweight Champion, Jose Luis Castillo, Alex Trujillo, Juan Gomez Trinidad, and Levander Johnson.

Round one began well for Diaz, as he used good lateral movement and a consistent jab to set up combinations that helped him deposit the first two rounds in his back pocket.

At the end of round two, there was a ten-minute delay when one of the ring ropes sprang loose. The crowd grew restless and pleaded for the action to resume.

The timeout seemed to favor Jauregui as he came out much more aggressive in round three and scored well using solid body shots and left hooks. Diaz though seemed to edge out the round by outscoring Jauregui with the jab and left hooks of his own.

Rounds four thru six belonged to the champion as he increased the pressure scoring more often with body shots and left hooks. Diaz seemed troubled by Jauregui's increase in output.

Round seven was extremely close, but Diaz seemed to edge it out with his more consistent jab.

In round eight, just when it seemed that Diaz could be tiring, he summoned his second wind and had a great round going toe to toe with the harder-punching Jauregui.

Diaz outworked Jauregui in the final four rounds, often times choosing to stand and trade, and surprisingly, won the better part of those exchanges.

Overall, Diaz outworked and outboxed Jauregui, and although Jauregui did manage to land the harder shots, they were few and far between.

The judge's scores were, 118-110, 118-110, and 117-117

Doghouse scored the bout 117-112 for Diaz.

With the win, Diaz becomes a big player in the lightweight division. Potential matchups against Acelino Freitas, Juan Lazcano, Jose Luis Castillo, and other big names may be right around the corner.

In undercard action, 23 year old, Johnny Gonzalez, of Pachuca Mexico, scored an impressive six round KO over Alejandro Montiel. Gonzalez overpowered Montiel by dropping him twice in the fourth, once in the fifth, and convincing the referee to put a stop to the carnage at :21 of round six.

Armando Santa Cruz whitewashed veteran James Crayton. Crayton had too much mileage on him to keep up with his younger opponent. All three judges scored the bout 100-90 for Santa Cruz.

Former WBA Cruiserweight Champion, Orlin Norris, cruised to a ten round decision over Robert Coehlo. Neither man was down, but Coehlo was hurt several times in the bout.

Notables in attendance were WBO Super Bantamweight Champion, Joan Guzman, WBC Super Bantamweight Champion, Oscar Larios, WBA Junior Flyweight Champion, Rosendo Alvarez, and WBO Welterweight Champion, Antonio Margarito.

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