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A 12-round break in friendship
Diaz takes on Soto in co-main; Gomez raps to Castillo in co-feature bout

Story & photos by Chris Cozzone

Promising to steal the show Saturday night at the Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium, while putting aside a friendship for a dozen or less rounds, current WBC super featheweight champ Humberto Soto (50-7-2, 32 KOs), of Los Mochis, Mexico, and former champ David Diaz (35-2-1, 17 KOs), of Chicago, will battle for the vacant WBC lightweight belt.

It’s a familiar belt for Diaz.

“I want it back,” Diaz said today at a press conference held at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas.

In 2008, Diaz lost his belt – to none other than Manny Pacquiao, who vacated it to move further up in weight.

In fact, Top Rank boss Bob Arum said today that if could attribute attributed Pacquiao’s super stardom to any one person, it would be Diaz.

“If Diaz hadn’t given Manny the opportunity to fight for the lightweight belt, there wouldn’t have been a fight with De La Hoya, Hatton, Cotto or Clottey.”

“Nothing like being known for a loss,” Diaz laughed it off. “But I guess Pacquiao has done ‘okay’ since taking my belt.

“But now I want it back.”

Diaz will face Soto, who will be one of the few Mexicans to become a three-division champ, should he win.

“Soto is a great champ, and he’s also a great friend. But we’ve decided to mix it up in a fun fight that just might steal the show. Our techniques were made for each other.”

“Business is business,” agreed Soto. “We are good friends but we all have to sacrifice.

Gomez faces Castillo

In a ten-rounder for the WBC Continental Americas welterweight title, Alfonso Gomez (21-4-2, 10 KOs), of Guadalajara, Mexico, fresh off a win over highly-rated Jesus Soto-Karass, will take on former champ Jose Luis Castillo (60-9-1, 52 KOs), of Mexicali, Calif.

Gomez-Castillo may or may not steal the undercard Saturday night, but at today’s presser, the former “Contender” star stole the show by performing a rap song detailing his soon-to-be win over Castillo.

Castillo shrugged it off, laughing, then one-upped Gomez by challenging him to place a $20 thousand bet on their fight.

“I’m back,” he told the press. “Look out welterweights and super lightweights.”

Opening up the PPV-telecast, middleweight John Duddy (28-1, 18 KOs), of Derry, Ireland, takes on Michael Medina (22-1-2, 17 KOs), of Monterrey, Mexico, in a ten-rounder.

Arum told the press that should Duddy defeat Medina, a showdown with Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. awaits.

On the untelevised undercard:

Former champ Mauricio Pastrana (35-12-2, 24 KOs), of Columbia, will go eight rounds at bantam with Eden Sonsona (18-5, 5 KOs), of General Santos, Philippines.

In an eight-round feather bout, San Antone’s Joe Morales (20-13, 4 KOs) will take on Filipino Michael Farenas (26-2-3, 23 KOs.)

At featherweight, Salvador Sanchez (18-3-2, 8 KOs), nephew to the former great of the same name, goes eight with Jaime Villa (8-7-2, 3 KOs), of Midland, Texas.

At super bantam, Dallas’ prospect Roberto Marroquin (12-0, 9 KOs) will fight a sixer against Samuel Sanchez (4-1-1), also from Dallas.

In a four-round super welter bout, Rodrigo Garcia (5-0, 4 KOs), of Santa Ana, Calif., takes on Calvin Pitts (5-11-1, 1 KO), of Prairie View, Texas.

In a six- or four-round swing bout, at featherweight, Arthur Trevino (5-3-2, 2 KOs), of Ft. Worth, Texas, takes on Tucson’s Isaac Hidalgo (6-5-1, 1 KO).  

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