By Mark Eisner: Former IBF super featherweight champion Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz Jr (31-1-1, 15 KOs) fought to a 12 round majority draw against #1 IBF Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0-1, 12 KOs) on Saturday night at the Fantasy Springs in Indio, California.
The scores were 115-113 for Diaz, 114-114, and 114-114. Boxing News 24 had Diaz edging it based on his activity getting the better of Rakhimov in the second half of the fight.
Rakhimov outworked Diaz Jr in rounds 3 through 7, but then gassed out and let Diaz take control of the second half of the contest.
“I made a few mistakes that I got to work on,” said Rakhimov. “I thought I did everything that was possible to do. It looked like there were a few mistakes, but I’m going to be working on those mistakes. I want to get my American fans.”
“I thought I did enough t win the fight. It was a close fight,” said Diaz. “I didn’t make weight. I want to apologize to my fans. It was a mistake on my part. It was a year’s layoff.
“It was a close fight. The guy was throwing a lot of combinations, but it was landing on the gloves. I thought I should have won the fight. My conditioning was good.
“The thing about Rakhimov. He felt my power and my strength, and then he started moving around.
“The knockout would have come if he’d applied more pressure. my condition was there. I was landing good shots all throughout the fight. I thought I won the fight. I couldn’t make weight like I always did.
“There was no gym here. I was working out in my room, and using a treadmill. I still had to go showcase myself. I’m not going to risk my life trying to make weight,” said Diaz.
Here are early results for tonights’ DAZN card at the Fantasy Springs in Indio, California:
- Super middleweight contender Bektemir ‘Bully’ Melikuziev (7-0, 6 KO) wiped out Morgan Fitch (19-5-1, 8 KO) by a third-round knockout. Melikuziev, 24, looked powerful in bludgeoning the over-matched Fitch with shots from start to finish. In the third round, Melikuziev caught Fitch against the ropes and nailed him with a left to the body that put him down. Referee Jack Reiss then halted the contest. The time of the stoppage was at 2:08 of the third. Melikuziev’s left-hand finisher appeared to be a low blow, but the referee missed it. In the big scheme of things, it didn’t matter because Fitch was taking a pummeling from Melikuziev, and he had no chance of lasting much longer. Melikuziev was initially scheduled to fight former IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, but he tested positive for synthetic testosterone, and the was scrapped.
- Super middleweight Shane Mosley Jr (17-3, 9 KOs) defeated journeyman Cristian Olivas (20-8, 17 KOs) by a fifth-round stoppage. The 30-year-old Mosley Jr dominated the action, hitting Olivas at will with shots. At the end of the fifth, Olivas’ corner pulled him out of the fight due to his right-eye having closed. Overall, it wasn’t a great performance by Mosley Jr despite him winning. He was getting hit clearly by shots repeatedly in the fourth and fifth rounds. If those punches were thrown by a powerful 168-pounder, Mosley would be in trouble. He did some improvements from his one-sided loss to Brandon Adams in 2018, but he still looks very flawed and not ready for the top tier super middleweights.
- Super bantamweight contender Ronny Rios (32-3, 16 KOs) outworked Oscar ‘Jaguar’ Negrete (19-3-2, 7 KOs) in beating him by a 10 round unanimous decision. The scores were 100-90, 100-90, 99-91. Rios landed 290 of 880 shots for a 33 percent connect rate. Negrete connected on 150 of 830 punches for an 18% connect rate. Rios had too much size and was too busy for Negrete. Ronny, 31, is hoping to fight for a world title. The win for him was his fourth in a row since losing to Azat Hovhannisyan in 2018.
- Brian Carlos Castano (17-0-1, 12 KOs) dominated WBO junior middleweight champion Patrick Teixeira (31-2, 22 KOs) in beating him by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision. The scores were 120-108, 119-109, and 117-111. Boxing News 24 scored it for Castano by a 120-108 score. Teixeira landed 197 of 972 shots for a 20% connect rate. Castano connected on 373 of 1136 shots for a 33 percent connect rate. In the 12th round, Castano hurt Teixeira with a big left hook, and then teed off on him but was unable to stop him. The loss for Teixeira removes the possibility of WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford moving up from 147 to challenge him for his title. It’s unlikely that Crawford will dare to take on Castano, as he’s got a bad style for him due to his pressure and incredibly high work rate. It would be surprising if Crawford take the risk of taking on Castano. One fight that would be interesting would be a unification match between newly crowned WBO champion Castano and IBF/WBA/WBC 154-lb champion Jermell Charlo.
Some boxing fans believe that Diaz intentionally missed weight because he didn’t feel he could win unless he was at full strength against the talented Russian Rakhimov (15-0, 12 KOs).
Only Diaz knows the truth, but it is odd for a fighter with Diaz’s experience to miss weight by such a wide margin. If things don’t work out well for Diaz tonight, it’s going to be hard for him to come back from this.
Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz Jr will be fighting tonight against a very tough #1 Shavkat Rakhimov after losing his IBF super featherweight title on the scales on Friday at the weigh-in for their bout on DAZN. Boxing News 24 will be supplying live results for tonight’s Diaz vs. Rakhimov card.
For some inexplicable reason, Diaz (31-1, 15 KOs) came in almost four pounds over the limit at 133.6 lbs and was stripped of his IBF title without throwing a punch.
Other fights on tonight’s card:
- Patrick Teixeira vs. Brian Castano
- Ronny Rios vs. Oscar Negrete
- Shane Mosley Jr vs. Cristian Olivas
WBO junior middleweight champion Patrick Teixeira (31-1, 22 KO) will be making a defense tonight against his mandatory Brian Castano (16-0-1, 12 KO) in the chief support bout.
Teixeira is going to have to put in a great performance for him to win this fight, as he’s facing a highly talented fighter in Castano. The oddsmakers have Castano as the favorite.
They obviously saw how much trouble Teixeira in his last fight in barely beating Carlos Adames by a 12 round decision in November 2019. Teixeira was cut up badly in that fight and was lucky to make it through without it being stopped.