Mexican challenger Iran “MagnifiKO” Diaz stands just one win away from achieving a lifelong dream, but he will have to defeat a pound-for-pound star to make it a reality.
Diaz will challenge Srisaket Sor Rungvisai for his WBC Super Flyweight World Championship in the historic main event of ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, 6 October.
Despite being the pre-bout underdog, he has his sights set on a win that would see him reach the summit of his sporting profession.
The 28-year-old from Sonora, Mexico proved his championship credentials with notable wins over two top opponents – former WBA Super Flyweight Champion Luis Concepción and former WBA Flyweight Champion Hernán Márquez.
In both bouts, he was the underdog, and on both occasions, he made light of the bookmakers’ odds to earn the biggest wins of his career.
Ahead of his World Championship challenge, “MagnifiKO” has gone the extra yard in his training, enlisting Mexican boxing great Juan Manuel Márquez as an advisor and ramping up his training to ensure that when he steps in the ring in the Impact Arena, he will do so in the best shape of his career.
“From the first day I stepped into the gym with [coach] Chino Barrón, I said, ‘I’m going to be World Champion,‘” he reveals.
“From that moment, that was my mentality.”
Mexico is a hotbed for boxing talent, but Diaz has managed to stand out from the crowd and ascend the ultra-competitive super-flyweight ladder.
That in itself is a huge achievement, but Diaz has always harboured the desire to become a champion, and he says his mental strength and commitment put him a cut above his rivals.
“The truth is that there are many boxers, but I don’t think they are as disciplined as me,” he says.
“I am 100 percent devoted to my discipline, my work, and my desire. I have a dream, and I’m going to work for it. I will do the impossible to be World Champion.”
He also pays tribute to his family, who have supported him throughout his career.
“My family is the most important thing. The support of my family, my wife, and my son – it motivates me every day,” he explains.
“There are times when you get up without wanting to run or to train, but I have to draw [upon my inner] strength because there are people who believe in me. They force me to get up, and get more excited every day.”
As well as the support of his family, Diaz will have the support of his home nation. Mexico is renowned for being a passionate country full of boxing fans, and they will unite to support “MagnifiKO” as he takes on Srisaket on the Thai’s home soil.
“I believe that it is the greatest pride to represent my country – for me and my family, and my friends,” he continues.
“A boy representing Mexico is great for all of us.
“It’s going to be a very exciting fight because he has the belt that I want.
“I’m going with all the desire to get it, whatever the cost. The most important thing for me is to bring it home, for all my team and for all of Mexico.”