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JUAN DIAZ: "I HAVE NOT MADE ANY DECISION...I'M STILL STAYING IN THE GYM"

By Elvers Brooks | October 25, 2010
JUAN DIAZ:

"I have not made any decision because I want to enjoy my time off and not really think of boxing or do anything with boxing. I mean, this is a decision that, when I make it sure, it is final. I do not want to be one of those fighters that retires then comes back in a year or so. So when I say I'm done, I want to really be done. If I continue, I am going to continue and give it my all. I am going to wait after this year finishes and really concentrate and focus on what I need to do and what I want to do starting in 2011," stated former lightweight champion Juan Diaz, who has yet to make a decision on the future of his boxing career. Check out what else he had to say.

EB: How have you been doing Champ?

JD: I've been doing pretty good. I've just been enjoying life and my time off.

EB: You take the LSAT yet?

JD: No, not yet. I had something change in my schedule and I had to postpone the LSAT.

EB: So you just been studying for it still?

JD: Oh yeah, I'm still studying for it. I took a break from the classes and test, but eventually, I'm going to get back with it and get moving.

EB: Good. I know you are working on some business ventures. What are some of the ventures you are working with now?

JD: Right now, I have a few real estate opportunities that I'm diving into. I'm looking at some rental properties; looking to build a couple homes and rental properties. I then have a construction company with my brother. He is the one that manages it, but I help him out here and there.

EB: So you are staying busy.

JD: Yeah, I stay busy because boxing is not guaranteed, so I got to make sure I got a life after it.

EB: We know you're busy with school and business, but what everyone wants to know is will we see you in the ring again?

JD: Right now, I have not made any decision because I want to enjoy my time off and not really think of boxing or do anything with boxing. I mean, this is a decision that, when I make it sure, it is final. I do not want to be one of those fighters that retires then comes back in a year or so. So when I say I'm done, I want to really be done. If I continue, I am going to continue and give it my all. I am going to wait after this year finishes and really concentrate and focus on what I need to do and what I want to do starting in 2011.

EB: Are you still staying in the gym and staying in shape?

JD: Oh yeah, I'm still staying in the gym. Of course, it is one of those things as to whether I fight or not, I want to stay in shape. I am not training with my strength and conditioning coach. I still do, but it is not like we meet each other on a daily basis.

EB: Now with all of your business ventures, are you wanting to do something in the boxing industry after you are done boxing?

JD: One of the things I have done, and always done, especially in recent weeks, is volunteer my time in the boxing gym. I kind of volunteered by helping out the kids and really give them advice as far as staying in school and the basics in boxing. So I've been volunteering, and if there's anything I would be good at, it is volunteering my time with the youth.

EB: Oh yeah, there is never a shortage of things you can do in that area.

JD: Yeah, you know, I have done pretty good for myself and I have a lot of business opportunities coming up, so I think since I am not committing to anything, the best use of my time would be to volunteer and help out in any way I can help out.

EB: Are you keeping up with boxing? I know some fighters don't when they are on break.

JD: Actually, no I am not keeping up because I want to take a break from the sport and just concentrate on being a normal man.

EB: (Laughs) You can't do that; you are too popular now.

JD: (Laughs) I can't do that. I don't mean as far as being popular. I appreciate the fans and the support. I go around Houston and I meet people, sign autographs and take pictures and I love that. There just comes a time where you want to take time and separate from what you do and that is where I am at. I just stepped away from the training and the actual boxing and I'm just looking at my future.

EB: No one can fault you for that. You have been boxing nonstop most of your life.

JD: Yeah, amateur and pro, that is more than half of my life.

EB: And boxing is a brutal sport.

JD: (Laughs) Yeah, tell me about it. Especially because I really second guess myself at times. The last few years of my career have been a rollercoaster ride with wins and losses. Really more losses than wins, so it is time I sit down and consider what is the best move for me here on out.

EB: Well, you have plenty of options if you come back.

JD: Yeah, I do. The one thing I told my manager, and even my family, is that I want to be the best at whatever I do, so if I decide I want to keep fighting, I want to compete and fight at the championship level. I don't want to be a stepping stone for anyone else.  If it comes to the point where I am the guy people are just stepping over for another guy, I'm just going to hang 'em up and move on to bigger and better things.

EB: Well, it sounds like you have set yourself up nicely. You do not want to be one of those fighters that keeps on fighting because of bad decisions.

JD: I just thank God for my family and people around me because they have helped me through all my trials and tribulations, both the good and the bad. I just thank them for that because they have been such positive influences in my life. They have helped me become a good man and be somewhat successful, even if I don't box anymore.

EB: Yeah, if you don't put the gloves on again, you have accomplished a lot in the ring and set yourself up nicely after boxing.

JD: The one thing I can say that will be rough is doing the everyday normal activities because being a world champion and fighting at that level is a different way of life. It seems like your whole life is moving at a fast forward pace and everything that you do is just amazing. That is one of the things I have noticed is not being in the environment and not doing my everyday boxing life, it seems like things have really slowed down.

EB: It is a difference. It takes some adjusting. The positive is you have things to keep you busy.

JD: Yeah, that's the thing; a lot of guys do not have anything after boxing. If you are not careful with how you set yourself up, you can set yourself up for failure. Like I said, living life as a boxer and fighting at the level I was fighting at, for any fighter, is a big deal. And when you wake up in the morning and you don't have that or anything to look forward to, and all you have to look forward to is getting drunk or messing around and doing things you are not supposed to, then that is how you start getting into trouble. It's when you have a lot of free time.

EB: Oh yeah, an idle mind is the devil's workshop.

JD: (Laughs) Right! Very true.

EB: I know you study law. What branch of law are you looking into?

JD: I am interested in doing sports contracts because I think dealing with athletes is something I feel I can be very useful at, and helping fighters and other athletes with their contracts.

EB: Yeah, you could be beneficial in that area. You can apply what you learned in your career to help others see those same things earlier.

JD: The main thing, the main key is to let fighters know that numbers doesn't mean as much as they think it means. What I mean by the numbers is the numbers that promoters and managers throw at you. You have a 15 or 20 page contract and then on the last page, you see one hundred thousand, two hundred thousand or a half a million. Anybody would get the pen and sign it, but that's not always the thing to do and that is what I would make them aware of. By you signing on that last page, signing your name , you could be signing your life away. You could be signing away a lot of opportunities.

EB: Oh yeah, you could save some athletes a lot of money by helping them out.

JD: Oh yeah.

EB: Well Juan, I do appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule and talking to me.

JD: Thank you for interviewing me and letting my fans know I'm still out there.

EB: Good luck with everything and let me know when you make your decision.

JD: Okay. Thanks again.

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