When you think about Montana it's unlikely the first thing that comes to mind is boxing. On a ranch in three forks however, it may feel like you've stepped into a boxing museum.
Joe Diaz, a USA boxing trainer and coach, has created his own training center on a ranch in Three Forks and if you have the time, he has quite a few stories to tell.
"Rocky Marciano's the one who taught me to run breezy point in the sand with steel toe boots," Diaz told me as we toured the gym. "We fought Matthew Macklin in Ireland and we filled the stadium. Felix Trinidad, we'd like to fight him again."
The big name Diaz is currently training in Montana is Luis "Yory Boy" Campas. Campas has over twenty titles to his name but over the past few years Yory and Diaz have been in court in Arizona claiming they received bad checks after fights. The loss of money has caused Campas, now 42, to get back into the ring.
"He got cheated on money," said Diaz. "Where others made millions, he made thousands. He should be retired and enjoying life, but he can't. He's still the best body weight puncher in the business."
Campas is no stranger to the bright title lights fighting stars such as Oscar De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas. Campas sports a record of 101 wins, 17 losses and 3 draws. Between the ages of 15 and 24, Campas recorded 55 straight knockouts. Even with an impressive resume, he must prove himself next month if he wants another main event bout.
"I think because he doesn't speak English, the promoters couldn't use him and he went to the wayside," said Diaz.
Training has not been easy on Campas, as his wife and children are still living in Mexico.
"He's really sad," said Diaz. "He's going on almost 4 months that he's been out of touch physically with him family."
Campas and Diaz now put their hopes into the main event fight April 5th in Belgrade. Diaz hopes that with a win, Campas can get a fight with one of the big names in boxing, even if it's pulling them out of retirement.
"Bernard Hopkins, we'll come up to his weight," said Diaz. "Mosley, come out of retirement. De La Hoya, lets get a match in Madison Square Garden. He'll get one good fight after this, that's what we're hoping for."
Campas will take the ring April 7th at the Silver Spur Event Center in Belgrade, the first match of the night beginning at 7:30.