Miguel Diaz Wins New WBC Flyweight Belt
Everybody was “Goin’ Green” at the Thompson Boxing Promotions’ “Night of Champions,” a private boxing show and dinner gala held at the Doubletree Hotel in Orange County on Saturday night. There was a new World Boxing Council (WBC) belt on the line in the main event between Miguel Diaz (8-0, 3 KOs) and Austreberto Juarez (10-1, 2 KOs). “This will be for the WBC US Super Flyweight Championship,” Tellez told me before the bouts began. The evening was a special event hosted by promoter Ken Thompson that also included a charity donation to a youth boxing club. There were many celebrity guests taking in the fights ringside.
WBC Supervisor Rudy Tellez and WBC Supervisor Dr. Joe Noriega were also in attendance to present the famed green and gold strap to the victor of the bout. But before the action started, Tellez, also known as the “Mouthpiece Doctor” wanted me to meet with a group of WBC officials who were working the fights that night.
“I’ve known a lot of these guys and a lot of the fighters here for decades,” the veteran told me. “I’ve known these guys since the ’60s and ’70s; we go back from the Main Street Gym and longer. And I really want to give respect to this group–they are all pros in the game.”
It’s no secret that many sanctioning organizations, including the WBC, take the fair share of criticism in the fight game. Tellez wants to share his positive feelings about this hardworking crew. As he walked me back to the holding area, he commented while entering the room, “We have a great group of WBC officials here; they are sensational.”
Gathered around Rudy were Eddie Alejandre, Pat Russell, Raul Caiz Sr., Dr. Eddie Ayoub, Jerry Cantu, Zac Young, Willie Arriola, Pat Connolly, Dr. Baer, Mark Relyea, among other inspectors, referees, judges and timekeepers assigned duty for the night.
During the evening, Tellez awarded the WBC title to Allentown, Pennsylvania’s Miguel Diaz, after a close and exciting eight-round battle that had the crowd cheering. Diaz and his trainer Julio Peña were both very happy and proud to be taking home a new belt after their “Night of Champions” outing.
“This was an excellent boxing event,” Rudy commented. “I got to see people I first met years ago like Henry Tillman, Lamon Brewster and Rodolfo “El Gato” Gonzalez.”
Adding with a chuckle, “I made Henry’s mouthpiece in the ’70s and Lamon’s mouthpiece way back when and I saw Rodolfo fight years ago. And here we are after all these years!”
The boxing vet also caught up with old friends working the corners and past WBC champions as well as current belt holders. Running into cutman Joe Chavez, Tellez gave him a big hug saying, “This guy I’ve known since the ’60s!”
And everyone there wanted their time with the WBC belt as Tellez and Noriega took time to greet former WBC Middleweight Champ Kelly Pavlik, former WBC Super Bantamweight Champ Israel Vazquez, WBC female titlist Mia St. John, WBC Latino Champ Artemio Reyes Jr., NABF Super Bantamweight titleholder Efrain Esquivias Jr., among others.
After decades aligned with the World Boxing Council, Rudy has nothing but praise for it’s President and founder.
“Jose Sulaimain is a mentor to me–and to boxing,” he states. “Both he and Mauricio are great people; Mauricio is doing an incredible job following in his father’s footsteps.” The WBC Supervisor adds that he’s looking forward to the 50th WBC Convention. “It will be in November and this time it will be in Cancun,” he says. The longtime organization also is known for their NABF sanctioning body and their WBC Cares charitable endeavors.
Photos by Michele Chong