S. EL MONTE - Joseph Diaz Jr., of South El Monte and a current Southern California resident, recently competed at the London Olympics in boxing and was defeated in the second round of competition on August 1.Diaz was widely considered one of the Unites States' best chances of earning a medal in the 123 pound bantamweight division. Diaz defeated Pavlo Ishchenko of the Ukraine 19-9 in the first round of competition on July 28. Diaz led after the first round 4-3, led after the second round 9-6 and finished off Ishchenko 6-3 in the last round to win all three rounds and the fight 19-9. Diaz fell to defending World and Pan American Games champion Lazaro Alvarez of Cuba 21-15 in the second round and was eliminated from Olympic competition. Diaz trailed 7-6 after the first round, 14-10 after the second round and lost the third round 7-5 to make the final score 21-15. This fight also marked a rematch of their bout at last year's world championships in which Alvarez also won, 19-10. What made these scores concerning to the boxing community was the fact that many ringside spectators, including Olympic commentators, had Diaz as the aggressor in the fight and the actual winner. The international scoring system has certainly changed and we no longer see the consistent likes of Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) (1960), Sugar Ray Leonard (1976) or Oscar De La Hoya (1992); all of whom were Americans who won gold medals and later became undisputed world champions. Perhaps this is something to think about in future Olympiads.
********** Published: August 09, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 17