A former fighter himself, Diaz has years of experience in the fight game and has probably seen it all. He's faced hostile environments and dealt with overly loquacious opposition who have tactfully used verbal jibes in vain attempts to get under his skin and cause him to lose focus.
A master at the psychological influences in boxing, Diaz is steadfast in practicing what he preaches... Until someone mentions Amir Khan or Freddie Roach.
"I think Amir Khan should really open up his eyes and get himself a trainer who can really help him out in a fight when he's in trouble," Diaz commented.
Diaz, reffering to Lamont Peterson's upset win over then-unified jr weltwerweight champion Amir Khan in December, believes trainer Freddie Roach offered no useful advice for the young Brit and was powerless in helping his fighter escape the jaws of defeat.
"If I was in Amir Khan's corner, I wouldn't just let him get beat up all night. It's time for Amir Khan himself to start thinking about getting another trainer. Maybe he should consider coming to Joel Diaz! Tell Amir Khan if he wants to beat Lamont Peterson, tell him to come to Joel Diaz and I'll make a little time for him and teach him what he needs to do to win - since we already beat Peterson."
Moreover, Bradley and Diaz believe Amir Khan's comments and protests following his loss to Lamont Peterson were despicable.
The bad blood between Team Khan and Team Bradley started when Khan and his trainer, Freddie Roach, verbally assaulted Bradley via the media in an attempt to goad Bradley into a fight. Perhaps unbeknownst to Khan and company, Bradley was working to cement a long-term deal with a new promotional team and had decided to change promoters before accepting another bout under the Gary Shaw banner. Nonetheless, Roach and Khan were relentless in their attacks and created a heated situation that both Bradley and Joel Diaz would love to see settled in the ring.
Amir Khan has repeatedly questioned Bradley's heart and bravado and, during a big fight event last year, told Tim Bradley to "grow a pair" when the two men walked past each at a boxing event. In addition to questioning Bradley's masculinity, Khan purportedly criticized Bradley for having what he called a "B Level" trainer in Joel Diaz.
Several weeks ago, Amir Khan reaffirmed his feelings towards Bradley in an interview with FightHype:
"He's fighting my gym mate, Manny Pacquiao, and who knows, in the future, the fight might happen," he added. "But now, because I offered him the fight, if he gets knocked out by Manny Pacquiao, I don't think he'll be worth me fighting because I don't want leftovers to be honest with you.
"He knows I told him to grow some balls; everyone knows I told him that, and you know what? I don't think he has any because he just walked off."
But Tim Bradley asserts he called out Amir Khan soon after 'Desert Storm' defeated Devon Alexander in January 2011 and trainer Freddie Roach purportedly on tape responding to the challenge stating, "Amir has to check his schedule." Bradley's response to the refusal further stoked the fire as Tim believed Khan and Roach were scared to fight.
Regardless of who is to blame for Bradley vs Khan not happening last year, Joel Diaz firmly believes in his prediction of another Peterson victory and insists its based on logic and not emotion. "If he (Lamont Peterson) executes the same game plan as the last fight he will beat Khan again," he said. "He had good defense, good pressure. The only thing is I would tell him to counter a little more."
"If Amir Khan really wanted to win that fight with Peterson he would have come to me and I would have told him what to do to win the fight. Timothy Bradley has three titles, how many does Khan have? I've taken Timothy to two WBC and one WBO title. How many titles does Khan have under his belt with Freddie Roach? And he couldn't even beat Lamont Peterson! I took Timothy to beat Peterson when Peterson was undefeated! Here's another one... Freddie Roach couldn't even help Jorge Linares against Antonio DeMarco (Oct 2011). Just like he did with Khan (vs. Peterson), he (Roach) watches his fighters get beat up."
Courtesy Tom Casino, Showtime
But all the verbal jousting from Amir Khan and Freddie Roach last year is still fresh on Joel's mind.
"After eating all that crow for not fighting Khan last year, look where we are now. Amir Khan cried and cried and called Timothy all kinds of names but you know what? Timothy never dodges anyone. He has a team of promoters behind him who advise him and they said, with Khan, let's wait a little bit, there's something better. And hey, he listened and look where we are now."