Undefeated junior welterweight prospect Joel Diaz Jr. (22-0, 18 KOs), of Palmdale, CA, will return to action on Saturday, November 19, at the Sosua Bay Grand Casino, in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
The 24-year-old Diaz will face Dominican Mario Beltre (15-1, 11 KOs), of San Pedro de Macoris, who is a former Dominican Republic lightweight champion, in a scheduled eight-round bout.
After accumulating an impressive 85-10 amateur record, Diaz turned pro at the age of 18 in July 2010. Quickly becoming a noteworthy prospect, Diaz was featured on Showtime’s ShoBox series in January 2012, defeating 7-0 Guy Robb via seventh-round stoppage. Shortly after beating experienced veteran Jose Angel Beranza in March 2014, on DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing series in Brooklyn, Diaz, managed by Mike Criscio, was signed to a co-promotional agreement between DBE and Jean Pascal Promotions. Back on ShoBox as a headliner in May 2014, Diaz was taken the full 10-round distance for the first time, winning an impressive unanimous decision over 14-1 Canadian contender Tyler Asselstine. Diaz closed out 2015 as the co-feature on a pay-per-view broadcast topped by Shane Mosley on August 29, at the Forum, in Inglewood, CA. He dismantled gritty foe Luis Arceo inside four frames. It was after the Arceo bout that Diaz made changes to his corner, assigning former heavyweight champion Chris Byrd as his new head trainer, looking to combine his aggressive style with improved defensive technique.
Currently ranked no. 1 by the USBA, Diaz has shown continued improvement with Byrd and, with a victory on Saturday, is determined to prove he is ready for bigger challenges in 2017.
“It’s been a few months since my last fight, so I am anxious to get back in the ring and score a spectacular victory over Beltre,” said Diaz. “Working with Chris Byrd has been great. The longer we work together, the more his influence will show in my performances. I am ready to step it up and fight anybody in the top ten. 2017 will be my year to really shine.”
“Joel Diaz Jr. is one of the best young prospects in boxing right now,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “His talent was evident early on, when he stopped Guy Robb in his ShoBox debut. Hiring Chris Byrd as his new trainer shows me how dedicated he is to improving as he climbs up the rankings. Following a win on Saturday, Pascal and I will ensure Diaz gets big fights and opportunities in 2017 to secure his contender status and move toward a title shot.”