WBC Latino Super Flyweight Champion Iran “MagnifiKO” Diaz (14-2-3) shot up the ranks through sheer determination and an unshakeable will to win.
After experiencing a setback in May 2016, the 28-year-old pugilist refined his boxing skills and defeated two heavy-handed World Champions in consecutive bouts to earn a World Title opportunity of his own.
Before he enters the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand for this historic clash, check out the three matches that led him to this golden opportunity.
Toppling Hernan Marquez
In December 2016, Diaz faced the most seasoned boxer of his career in compatriot and former WBA Flyweight World Champion Hernan “Tyson” Marquez.
This was an acid test of the young Diaz’s World Championship prospects, as he went up against a dangerous veteran of 49 professional bouts.
Ultimately, he passed with flying colors.
Diaz battled toe-to-toe with the seasoned knockout artist, who had earned 30 of his 41 wins by stoppage. “MagnifiKO” battled back after being hit low in the fifth round, and he outpaced the former titleholder in the final rounds of the tilt.
All three judges scored the bout in Diaz’s favor. The Sonora, Mexico native showed he had the ability to hang tough with a World Champion who possessed massive knockout power, and he proved his readiness to make the step up in competition if given the chance.
Going 10 Rounds With Luis Concepcion
Diaz’s win over Marquez propelled him straight into a bout with another elite-level competitor, former WBA Super Flyweight World Champion Luis Concepcion, in September 2017.
Once again, “MagnifiKO” displayed his toughness and stamina, as he took the Panamanian superstar the distance after another punishing 10-round battle.
The Mexican’s constant movement and multi-punch counters impressed the judges more than Concepcion’s forward pressure and heavier, single punches.
Diaz delivered his second upset win in successive bouts. The scorecards were 99-91, 98-92 and 97-95, giving the dark horse a clear-cut unanimous decision victory over a more decorated adversary.
Drawing Adolfo Castillo
Following his sixth-round knockout of journeyman Edgar Alfredo Martinez, Diaz faced off against undefeated rising star Adolfo Castillo this past June.
Unlike his battles with Conception and Marquez, he went into the bout with an experience advantage over his opponent, and it showed in his stature in the ring.
In the opening two rounds of their contest, “MagnifiKO” looked the more accomplished and dominant boxer.
However, an accidental clash of heads in the third stanza left him with a cut over his left eye. That forced a premature stoppage to the bout, and with only two rounds completed, the match was rendered a technical draw.
Despite the unsatisfactory result, it meant Diaz’s undefeated streak extended to four bouts in a row, and it ensured he remained in pole position to challenge Srisaket for the WBC Super Flyweight World Title at the Impact Arena on 6 October.
With two former World Champions already vanquished in his unblemished run, Diaz will now look to add the name of Thailand’s defending titleholder to that list.