• Welterweight

Julio Diaz up for Hatton challenge

ESPN staff
October 1, 2012
Julio Diaz won by fifth round stoppage on Saturday © PA Photos

Ricky Hatton is rapidly becoming a wanted man since making his return to professional boxing, with Julio Diaz the latest pugilist to express interest in fighting the Brit.

Hatton recently confirmed he will end a three-year absence from the sport when he meets Vyacheslav Senchenko on November 24. The bout will take place in Hatton's hometown of Manchester and is already guaranteed a bumper crowd.

Should Hatton come through that bout successfully, compatriot Amir Khan has spoken of his willingness to put on an all-British war, saying in the Sun: "It would make a lot of money - when you get the gloves on you forget your friendship."

Now Diaz, a two-time lightweight champion, is hoping he can throw his name into the mix having put together back-to-back wins. Victory over Hector Sanchez in the fifth round of Saturday's bout boosted his clout, and several big names have been linked.

Marcos Maidana is a fighter who greatly interests Diaz, while Hatton and Khan both provide interesting options down the line. And Diaz admits he is up for the challenge.

"We're all champions making a comeback now. Let's do it," he said.

At 32 years of age, Diaz is no longer at his best - making a potential fight with Hatton of some interest. Nowadays he puts himself in greater danger in order to finish fights early, something that would likely appeal to the Hatton camp.

"I will either win by knockout or I'll lose by knockout, but I think fans realise it," Diaz said. "I come to fight. I don't like to get beat or knocked out, but I'm willing to pay that price. I'm a risk taker and that's the way boxing is.

"Fans these days, they're more demanding. They want to see more than just a win. It's these styles that are getting paid, that are getting their names out there. Just winning is not winning these days."

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