Features

How A Pair Of Boxing Gloves Changed Iran Diaz's Life

Sep 27, 2018

ONE Championship will host the biggest sporting event in Thailand’s history on Saturday, 6 October, when a boxing world title bout takes place under the promotion’s banner for the first time.

WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai will defend his coveted belt against Iran “MagnifiKO” Diaz in the main event of ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES, which takes place at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

Diaz knows he has a massive hill to climb, as he is challenging for the gold in the titleholder’s homeland. However, the Mexican pugilist has the confidence, skills, and te fiery determination to pull off the upset in “The Land Of Smiles.”

Before he steps into the ring, learn a little bit more about the 28-year-old World Title challenger.

Family As Sanctuary

Iran "MagnifiKO" Diaz is ready to shock the world.

Iran "MagnifiKO" Diaz is ready to shock the world.Bangkok | 6 October | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneheroes18

Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Diaz was born in October 1989, and he was raised in the suburbs of Obregón, a city of 433,000 people in the state of Sonora in northwestern Mexico.

Although it has a notorious reputation for violent crime, the youngster had a joyful upbringing, and it was the close-knit family values he took from his childhood that still resonate with him today.

“Growing up in Sonora is difficult, but it makes you value things,” he explains.

“My childhood was very beautiful because my mother gave me everything she could – my dad as well, and my brothers have supported me a lot.”

Despite this, street life in Obregón briefly lured Diaz into a life that was fraught with danger. 

“As a child, I was too lazy,” he continues. “I grew up with, as they say, ‘the cholos’ – my brothers.”

With no goals and nothing productive to keep them occupied, Diaz and his friends wandered the streets, played pranks, and got into trouble.

From The Streets To The Ring

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai & Iran Diaz make bold predictions for their bout in Bangkok!

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai & Iran Diaz make bold predictions for their bout in Bangkok!Bangkok | 6 October | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneheroes18

Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, 12 September 2018

When one of the Mexican’s neighbors invited him to organized fights on the streets, he accepted, and the feeling was like nothing else he had experienced.

These raw encounters showed he had courage and a never-back-down attitude, but they were not the correct outlet for displaying these traits. 

Luckily, Diaz discovered his passion for boxing by accident. Another neighbor had the foresight to offer him some boxing gloves, and that set the ball rolling on his future in the ring.

“One day, a neighbor of mine named Fernando Felix, he took out a pair of gloves and showed them to me, and he said, ‘Do you want to put them on?’” the World Title challenger recalls.

“‘Of course, come on, I’ll wear them,’ I said. So I put them on, and from that moment I’ve got the love for boxing.”

Diaz’s innate affinity for pugilism did not resonate with his mother, who could not have foreseen her son’s successful career in the years that followed.

“It’s something my mom never liked,” he confesses. “When she saw me with my gloves on, she would reprimand me, and the person who had put them on me.”

However, at this crucial point in the youngster’s life, it was his saving grace. He entered Víctor el Chino Barrón’s gym in Obregón and embarked on his journey in the sweet science.

Choosing The Right Path

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai & Iran Diaz face off for the first time at the open workout for ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES!

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai & Iran Diaz face off for the first time at the open workout for ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES!Bangkok | 6 October | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneheroes18

Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Things could have been very different for “Magnifiko”. The streets can be unforgiving, especially in Diaz’s city.

He was on the cusp of taking the wrong path, but a brush with the law changed his direction. His pranks had become more criminal in nature, and his group of friends was causing trouble with the local police.

“Vandalism, fighting on the streets, behaving badly – we broke some windows of the patrol cars of the cops. We threw rocks at them, and that’s what led me to be locked up in the tutelary center for minors.”

Diaz realized this was not the life he wanted to lead. He could have gone down a slippery slope from there, or make drastic changes to drag himself back up onto the right path.

He spent his time in the gym, opting to throw punches in the ring instead of the streets, and he kept away from negative influences.

“If I had not been guided by boxing, if I had not said, ‘I’m going to practice this beautiful sport,’ then I would not have gotten here,” he admits. “I would have been in jail or dead.”

The Road To World Title Contention

WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai takes on Mexican hard-hitter Iran Diaz in ONE's first boxing showdown! Plus, Kai Ting Chuang defends her title against Muay Thai phenom Stamp Fairtex!

WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai takes on Mexican hard-hitter Iran Diaz in ONE's first boxing showdown! Plus, Kai Ting Chuang defends her title against Muay Thai phenom Stamp Fairtex!Bangkok | 6 October | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneheroes18

Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Following a successful amateur career, Diaz made his professional debut in 2008. Then an 18-year-old, he battled to a draw against fellow countryman, Marcos Cardenas.

“MagnifiKO” picked up his first win later that August, and he remained unbeaten over the next seven years. It was only a future WBC Flyweight World Champion in Juan Hernandez Navarrete who ruined his spotless record in March 2015.

Diaz rebounded in style, however. He knocked out Ricardo Armenta in October 2015, and two months later, he bested Alejandro Morales to capture the WBC Latino Super Flyweight Title.

That success would only continue. He went on to defeat former WBC Flyweight World Champion Hernan Marquez, and he followed that up with a win over former WBA Super Flyweight World Champion Luis Concepcion.

Those marquee victories showed that he is indeed a world-class boxer, and it helped stake his claim to this title opportunity against Srisaket.

Diaz has dedicated himself to the craft with unfaltering discipline, and on 6 October, he could finally realize his dreams of becoming a World Champion, and cement his place as part of Mexican boxing history.

“This is what makes me get up every day,” he says. “That’s my dream, and I’m going to work for it. I will do the impossible to be the World Champion.”

Bangkok | 6 October | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneheroes18