Local boxer Diaz faces tough challenge tonight

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His gloves had been laced up, the Vaseline smeared onto his face, and there was Juan Diaz stalking his sparring partner across the canvas. He moved forward, listened to instructions, he threw combinations and he — pop! pop! pop! — connected with punches to the body and head.

Nothing had changed. Yet everything has changed.

Almost one year ago, Diaz had stepped through the ropes inside the Plaza de Toros in Cancun, Mexico, as the undefeated three-time lightweight world champion. Twelve angry and bloody rounds later, the Baby Bull had been gored by Nate Campbell for the first loss of his professional career.

“It’s hard,” trainer Ronnie Shields said. “That first loss is really hard to take. You don’t see it coming….Full Story

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