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Leija dismisses Duva's talk of possible fight with Diaz

John Whisler
San Antonio Express News

SAN ANTONIO, TX - San Antonio welterweight Oscar Diaz plans to fight again Nov. 11 in Washington, D.C.

While that may be fine for now, Diaz's promoter, Lou Duva, said he wants to bring Diaz back to the Alamo City before the year is out.

"We'd like to put Oscar in a bigger fight," Duva said. "The guy we really want to fight is 'Jesse' James Leija."

Problem is, Leija has been retired since February.

Still, Duva is holding out hope. As for Leija?

"It's silly," he said. "I think they're just going after a name. I don't think it's Oscar saying that. I think it's Lou Duva just trying to generate interest in Oscar."

Leija said he had trouble adjusting to a life without boxing in the beginning, but he's content now. Content in his new role as entrepreneur and businessman.

He's opening a
gym across from Blossom Athletic Center in early November. And his "Knockout Sausage" line is scheduled to roll out Nov. 5 at a South Side H-E-B.

Leija said the sausage, which will come in two varieties — hot links and jalapeño — eventually will appear in H-E-B stores all across Texas.

Leija the businessman also said he'd consider coming out of retirement to fight again "if they make it worth my while."

And what would that take?

"In the $700,000 or $800,000 range," he said.

In other words, thanks but no thanks.

"Oscar's a great kid, a good fighter," Leija said. "But he's fought one good fighter, Ebo Elder, and lost. He needs to fight guys like that more often."

Guys like Francisco Bojado and Hector Camacho Jr., both of whom Leija defeated.

For now, Duva and Diaz will settle on a former Leija opponent. Diaz (19-1, 11 KOs) is scheduled to fight Marteze Logan (20-19-2, 5 KOs) of Covington, Tenn., on the Nov. 11 card.

Logan lost a rough, eight-round, technical decision to Leija at the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo on 2004. Logan has gone 7-11-1 since.

The Diaz-Logan bout will be the co-main event at the annual "Fight Night" black-tie, charity boxing show in the nation's capital. The event has been attended by such former greats as Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes and Thomas Hearns in years past.

The main event pits another Duva fighter, Shaun George (10-0-2, 5 KOs), against Chad Van Sickle (20-1-2, 12 KOs) for the NABA cruiserweight title.

The card will not be televised.

John Whisler

Web Posted: 10/23/2005