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Diaz stops Freitas to win unification bout

Diaz stops Freitas to win unification bout

WBA lightweight champion Juan Diaz added the WBO belt to his collection when Acelino Freitas' corner stopped their title unification fight at the end of the eighth round on Saturday.
Diaz improved to 32-0, winning his second world title at the age of 23 with the dominating performance against Freitas (38-2), a four-time world champion. David Diaz (WBC) and Julio Diaz (IBF) also hold lightweight titles.
"In the people's eyes you are not a champion until you have all the belts," Diaz said. "That's what I want to do."
Diaz successfully defended the WBA title for the sixth time since taking the championship from Lakva Sim in July 2004.
Diaz tirelessly stalked Freitas using a stiff left job to get inside and beat the older Freitas to the punch. Diaz landed 222 of 585 punches (38 percent) and dominated the final four rounds, outlanding Freitas 125-56.
The pace was fast from the outset with Diaz the aggressor. Diaz used a stiff left jab to get inside on Freitas and used his hand speed to get the better of the Brazilian.
Diaz said he struggled to follow his trainers' instructions to fight patiently.
"My corner kept on telling me to use the jab," he said.
The fight turned in the fifth round when Diaz stunned Freitas with a right hand against the ropes that buckled Freitas' legs. Freitas absorbed a flurry of punches but was able to stay on his feet.
The thrashing continued until the eighth round when Diaz cornered the tiring Freitas and unleashed a flurry of head and body shots. Freitas was pinned into the corner late in the round and took several shots to the head to end the round.
When Freitas went back to his corner, trainer Oscar Suaraez stopped the fight.
"It was my decision, you shouldn't let the young man get punished," Suarez said. "After that last shot he didn't recover right away. I could see it in his eyes."
Diaz will graduate from University of Houston next month.
"I am still just a college student from Houston, Texas," Diaz said. "I am still a young champion and I have a lot to learn."


Updated : 2020-11-30 16:43 GMT+08:00