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Devin Haney & Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz Jr agree to November fight

Devin Haney Joseph Diaz Jr

By Matt Lieberman: Joseph Diaz Jr and WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney spoke on social media on Saturday and agreed to a fight in November.

Diaz Jr (32-1-1, 15 KOs) is Haney’s mandatory after defeating Javier Fortuna (36-3-1, 25 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision last Friday night in Los Angeles, California.

Before taking the fight with Haney, Diaz, 28, needs to consider whether he’s better off fighting Ryan Garcia next.

That’s a fight that will likely make Diaz Jr more money from the gate in Los Angeles, Califonia, and it would create more buzz for the winner to take on Haney.

Diaz Jr called out Haney and Ryan Garcia last Friday night following his win over Fortuna in their co-feature bout at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.

Ryan (21-0, 18 KOs) hasn’t said anything yet about whether he would be open to a fight with Diaz Jr. But if he does want that fight, Diaz Jr should go in that direction.

Diaz Jr & Haney agree to November fight

Haney: “Bet.”

Jo Jo Diaz: “November, we got a deal.”

Devin Haney Joseph Diaz Jr

Haney: “October?”

Jo Jo Diaz: “Shut you’re goofy a** up and let’s fight by the end of this year, p***y.”

Devin Haney: “I didn’t watch Jo Jo Diaz’s sorry a**, but it’s funny that he’s calling out Ryan [Garcia] when he is my ‘mandatory’ now. What’s the point of calling out Ryan when he’s my mandatory?”

“I think both of them can be made,” said Jo Jo Diaz Jr to Fighthype about him fighting either Haney or Ryan Garcia next.

Me and Ryan Garcia are with the same promotion. I think that fight is likely to happen. I know that Ryan Garcia will want the opportunity because it’s such a big fight here in LA, so I think we can make that happen.

“But also the Devin Haney fight too. So whichever fighter agrees to fight me next, I’m with it.

“I get a title shot with Devin Haney. I’m the mandatory now. If we get Devin Haney first, we can make it happen.

“But if Ryan wants it [we can do it]. If Devin wants to play games and wait and fight somebody else first before the mandatory, then I’ll fight Ryan Garcia,” said Joseph Diaz Jr.

Haney was smart to rile Diaz Jr up on social media to get him to commit to a fight with him. He knows that if Ryan Garcia spoke up, he’d lose out on a big fight for him.

It’s one that Haney can likely win, as Diaz Jr isn’t a big puncher like his last opponent Jorge Linares, and he doesn’t possess his hand speed.

Joseph hurt his left hand in the seventh round

“Right now, I feel very comfortable at 135,” said Joseph Diaz Jr. “The punches weren’t too bad.

Devin Haney Joseph Diaz Jr

“I messed up my hand in the seventh round from a left hand on top. But I was still able to control the pace and dictate the pace, and I felt good.

“I feel like I can compete at 130 or 135. It just depends on if the opportunity is right. I just want the big fights at 130 if I’m going to go back down.

“I would want Jamel Herring or Oscar Valdez. Those are the fights that I want at 130. It’s been one hell of a ride, but I remain strong. I remain faithful and kept my faith. This is a new chapter. My main focus now is my boxing career,” said Diaz Jr.

You could see something was wrong with Diaz Jr’s left hand in the second half of the fight because he wasn’t using it as much.

He was mostly nailing Fortuna with lead right hands, which had a lot of power in them. Diaz losing his ability to throw left hands made the rounds closer than they would have been.

Fortuna gave Jo Jo a tough fight

“It was a tough fight,” said Diaz Jr. “Javier Fortuna is a tough mother f***. He’s strong, he kept applying pressure, and he kept throwing those shots and tried to hurt me.

“His power, I told you guys I was going to be able to take his power. It wasn’t going to be effective like how he hurts other guys.

“I’m able to take shots; I’m a big 135-pounder and a big 130-pounder. I just had to battle it through. I’m a fighter.

“I’ve been through wars already with injured hands and with cuts. I was able to battle through, and I did it once again.

“It did feel like a title fight,” Jo Jo Diaz Jr said about his match against Fortuna. “I felt like I won decisively.

“I wanted to still apply pressure, which I was, and put on a great performance for the fight fans.

“And I was trying to tee off with my left hand, but when I was doing that, it was hurting.

“I didn’t want it to get it really, really injured because I know I got another big fight coming up ahead. So I want to make sure I save it for that mother f****,” said Diaz Jr.

Some boxing fans would call a ‘life & death’ type of fight that Diaz Jr had against Fortuna.

It was a lot closer than the scores handed down by the judges, and Diaz Jr is lucky that Javier Fortuna was gassed in the championship rounds. He lost power on his shots and wasn’t able to keep Diaz Jr off.

Ryan Garcia would be a big fight in LA

“Hopefully, in November,” Diaz Jr said when he plans on fighting next. “I want to fight one more time for sure at the end of this year again.

“I want to fight for the fight, fans. I didn’t look good in my fight in February [against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov], but I hope I made it up for you guys fighting the tough challenger [Fortuna].

“And I beat this guy, and now I want to fight one more time in 2021.  I think so,” said Diaz Jr when asked if he thinks Ryan Garcia or Devin Haney will accept his challenge.

“Ryan Garcia, he’s one hell of a fighter, and I know he’s all about bringing the fight fans and the fights to LA.

“I feel like this [Ryan Garcia] is such a big fight in LA where it’s going to happen sooner or later.

“I don’t know,” said Jo Jo Diaz when asked how a fight between him and Ryan will play out.

“And I think I’ll break down Ryan Garcia like I do a lot of my other opponents.

“A lot of people don’t think I hit hard, but once I get in there, you’re going to feel my punches just like Javier Fortuna.

“He wasn’t applying as much pressure as I did because he knew that I had pop, and he knew that I could hurt him at any given time, which I was where he was backing up and pulling away, dictating the pace and trying to get his energy back,” said Diaz Jr.

It would be better for Diaz Jr to take the fight with Ryan Garcia if it pays better than the Haney title shot. A fight between King Ryan and Diaz Jr would create much more interest in Los Angeles than one involving Haney, who isn’t a big draw.

It comes down to badly Diaz Jr wants to get his hands on the WBC 135-lb title, as well as how confident he is that he can win.

If Diaz fights Haney and loses for the smaller money, it’s not really worth it to face him.

With Diaz Jr’s mandatory spot and WBC interim title, he doesn’t necessarily have to fight Haney immediately. He can face Ryan first and then fight Haney if he’s successful.

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