Martinez, CA -- Featherweight boxer Manuel "Tino" Avila (22-0 8KOs) is preparing for the biggest fight of his career.
"This fight would be a big win for me," Avila told ABC10, following a training session at FightKore MMA & Fitness in Martinez last Wednesday.
Avila, 25, is a native of Fairfield and will face off against Joseph "JoJo" Diaz Jr. (23-0 13KOs) May 6th in Las Vegas, as the first match on the undercard of the PPV fight between Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
"JoJo Diaz is a tough guy and he's going to bring it and it's going to get real physical," Avila's trainer Sean Sharkey said.
Unlike his previous 22 bouts, Avila is fighting with a greater purpose. Earlier this year, Manuel's wife Cynthia gave birth to their first child Angelica Rose.
"It makes me more motivated you know," said Avila. "It makes me think a little bit smarter in the ring because before it was if I get hurt, who cares? But now it's like if I get hurt, what's going to happen to my daughter? I have to make sure I'm there for her."
It is expected that the winner between Avila and Diaz will become the No. 1 contender for the WBC featherweight championship.
Avila said he can envision himself bringing the championship belt back to his hometown, but for now, his sights are directly on Diaz, who stands in his path on Saturday. A victory would also mean so much to those around Avila.
"He has the potential to be a great one," Sharkey said. "For a little podunk gym like ours here in Martinez, it (would) be a dream come true for him, a dream come true for us."
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