Knockout, defending his WBA “interim” Minimumweight title for the second time, had come into the bout amid jokes of a name change to “Unanimous Decision CP Freshmart”. Today however he seemed to take those jokes personally and made sure that he wasn't going to be taken the distance again.
The opening round was a relatively typical feeling out round. Knockout came forward behind hig high guard looking to get a feel for the loose looking Diaz. Diaz looked good, he showed a nice array of shots and nice speed, but seemed to struggle to get the respect of Knockout who took shots on the gloves and managed to land some of his own right hands.
The sound round saw the action hotting up from the off with both letting their hands go more freely. Once again however it seemed that Diaz struggling to land much clean whilst Knockout, who looked crude at times, easily found a home for his right hand. More impressively from Knockout's point of view was how easily he was putting Diaz under pressure and it seemed like Diaz was being forced to work hard to create any real space between the two men.
The ease with which Knockout was applying pressure began to really tell in round 3 as he swarmed Diaz, forcing his will on the Venezuelan who had no real answer for the aggression of knockout. The pressure came with real spite from the Thai who was landing nasty right hands upstairs and downstairs and appeared to be bullying the visitor who was visibly wilting before a body shot sent him down late in the round. Had the bell not come seconds after Diaz had got to his feet it's likely that he'd have been stopped there and then. Instead the bell came and gave Diaz some respite from the onslaught that had begun to really break him down.
Following the third round it was clear that Diaz was going to need to change something quickly if he was to turn things around. Unfortunately for him he couldn't and Knockout was quick to resume his assault. The best Diaz could muster was some clinches to try and slow the Thai but Knockout wasn't to be denied. The champion managed to score his second knockdown with more body shots to a weak looking Diaz who recovered to his feet but had nothing to stop Knockout's follow up assault which forced the referee to intervene as the Venezuelan was heading down for the third time in the bout.
After the bout the handlers of Knockout appeared to call out South African fighter Hekkie Budler. Budler, the WBA “regular” champion is known to have been a long term target of Knockout and on this performance it's fair to say the Thai could be avoided by Budler who will bot be wanting to go to Thailand to defend his title. It's likely to come down to the WBA to enforce a mandatory between the two but it's very clear that Knockouts team will do their best to convince the WBA to “do the right thing”.
For Diaz this set back is massively disappointing. We had been impressed with footage of the visitor but it seemed that he had no idea how to cope with the pressure of offense of Knockout and the way he wilted was terribly disappointing, especially given his recent victories and his apparent confidence in the build up to the bout.