By Allan Fox: Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz Jr denies the reports that he plans on facing his mandatory challenger Shavkat Rakhimov next rather than fighting Tevin Farmer in an immediate rematch.
Chris Mannix stated on Tuesday that Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez said that IBF super featherweight champion Diaz (31-1, 15 KOs) favors facing his mandatory Rakhimov (15-0, 12 KOs).
Former IBF 130-pound champion Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KOs), who Diaz defeated earlier this year on January 30 by a 12 round unanimous decision, has a rematch clause in the contract for that fight. Farmer wants an immediate rematch.
Diaz called the news of him preferring to face Rakhimov rather than the 29-year-old Farmer as “FAKE,” and he says he’ll beat Tevin in the rematch.
Last January, Diaz had a relatively easy time in beating Farmer by an impressive 12 round decision at the Meridian at Island Gardens, Miami, Florida. Although the fight was competitive, Diaz was the clear winner. The scores were 115-113, 115-113, and 116-112.
Joseph Diaz says he’ll beat Tevin Farmer again
It wouldn’t make much sense for Diaz to steer around his contractually bound rematch with Farmer to face his obscure mandatory challenger Rakhimov when there would be far less interest from boxing fans in that fight.
It’s safe to say that very few boxing fans in the U.S have ever heard of the 25-year-old Russian fighter Rakhimov, and his resume is thin on talented opposition.
Chris Mannix: “Golden Boy’s Eric Gomez confirms that @JosephDiazJr prefers to face his mandatory challenger next. @TevinFarmer22 has a rematch clause. Gomez tells SI that he is waiting for an @IBFUSBAboxing ruling,” said @SIChrisMannix.
“Reps for Joseph Diaz Jr have been looking for a way out of Diaz’s contractually obligated rematch with Tevin Farmer, per sources. Diaz’s team prefers Diaz to face his mandatory, little known Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov. Farmer has been firm: Live up to the contract or give up the belt.”
Joseph Diaz Jr: “This s*** fake. You don’t know what you are talking about. Who are your sources? Have you seen the contract? Try being a real journalist instead of a biased fanboy or company man.”
Chris Mannix replies to Diaz Jr: “Your promoter confirmed it.”
Joseph Diaz Jr: ‘Well, my promoter doesn’t speak 4 me.”
Diaz seemed to have Farmer’s number last January in using his size and power to outwork him. On the face of it, it doesn’t seem realistic that Diaz Jr would swerve the rematch with the light-hitting Tevin to fight his mandatory challenger, especially given that he’s got a contract for the rematch.
Jo Jo Diaz not afraid of Farmer
It makes more sense that Diaz would want to take the rematch with Farmer straightaway, and prove that his victory over the Matchroom Boxing promoted fighter last January wasn’t a fluke thing.
If Farmer had given Diaz more problems, then it would be logical for him to want to delay giving him the rematch. That wasn’t the case, though. It was an easy fight for Diaz.
The only thing that makes sense for why Diaz wouldn’t want to face Farmer right away is perhaps he intends to use Rakhimov as a warm-up contest to get the rust out before fighting Tevin again.
Diaz hasn’t been out of the ring long enough for him to need a tune-up fight, and he’s not coming off of an injury. If anyone requires a tune-up, it would be Farmer because he looked poor against Diaz.
“I ain’t afraid of anybody. Farmer is easy work,” said Diaz to @MikeCoppinger. I showed that the first time around. It will be the same outcome the second time around, plain and simple. I’m the new 130-pound champ around here, and gonna be for a long time no matter who I face.”