Ryan Garcia vs. Joseph Diaz Jr possible for fall at Staples Center, Los Angeles
By Dan Ambrose: Ryan Garcia could be returning to the ring against former IBF 115-lb champion Joseph Diaz Jr for a fight in the fall at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Mike Coppinger of ESPN reports that Ryan (21-0, 18 KOs) and Diaz Jr (32-1-1, 15 KOs), both promoted by Golden Boy, are in talks for a fight.
This won’t make WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney pleased if Diaz Jr chooses to fight Ryan next. In his last fight, Diaz Jr earned the WBC mandatory position with a win over Javier Fortuna.
If Diaz Jr takes the fight with Ryan, it would be the second fighter that chose not to fight Haney after winning a WBC 135lb title eliminator.
Earlier this year, Ryan Garcia defeated Luke Campbell in a WBC eliminator to become Haney’s mandatory. But rather than take the fight with Haney, Ryan opted to briefly chase after fights against Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Manny Pacquiao.
Diaz Jr predicting KO of Ryan Garcia
“I’m going to take him [Ryan] to a place he’s never been before, physically and mentally,” Diaz said to ESPN. “He’s going to feel my power in there.”
“I think I’ll stop Ryan in the later rounds,” continued Jo Jo Diaz Jr.. “My pressure and body shots will be too much for him.
“He’ll be feeling my shots and trying to hold and hug, but I think my overwhelmingness will be one of the keys to victory.”
Diaz Jr will need to fight a lot better against Ryan than he did against Fortuna because he didn’t look overpowering in that fight. He was similar to an Artur Gatti type of fighter.
Diaz Jr was hit a lot. His power wasn’t anywhere near what it needed to be to put him on the same level as Ryan, Gervonta Davis, Teofimo Lopez, Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero, or Richard Commey.
It would be a risky fight for Ryan Garcia to be fighting the 28-year-old Joseph Diaz Jr, as there would be a wide gulf between them in the experience department.
You won’t blame Ryan if he chooses not to fight ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz Jr because this is a guy that he should be fighting after getting experience some quality contenders.
With that said, Ryan has the hand speed, power, and youth advantage over the Gatti-esque Diaz Jr, which might be all he needs. Diaz Jr didn’t look all that great in his last fight against Javier Fortuna on July 9th.
Diaz Jr has been a professional for nine years, and he’s already fought these guys:
- Gary Russell Jr.
- Javier Fortuna
- Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov
- Tevin Farmer
- Jesus M Rojas
- Freddy Fonseca
- Victor Terrazas
- Rafael Rivera
- Manuel Avila
- Victor Proa
- Jayson Velez
- Rene Alvarado
- Ruben Tamayo
In contrast, the only names Ryan has on his resume are Luke Campbell and Francisco Fonseca.
Ryan WON’T land his left hook, says Diaz Jr
“If he thinks he wants to knock me out or does that pull hook that he does, it’s not going to work,” said Diaz Jr about Ryan Garcia.
If the fight gets made, this would be the first one for the 22-year-old unbeaten lightweight Ryan since his mental health timeout from boxing. Ryan has been out of the ring since his seventh round knockout win against Luke Campbell last January.
The 2012 U.S Olympian Jo Jo’ Diaz Jr recently moved up to the 135-lb division after losing his IBF 130-lb title on the scales last February in a defense against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov. The fight was scored a 12 round draw.
In Diaz’s first fight at 135 against Javier Fortuna on July 9th, he defeated him by a 12 round unanimous decision in a competitive fight. The contest was closer than the scores handed down by the judges. They had Diaz Jr winning 116-111, 117-110, and 115-113. Diaz Jr appeared to edge it barely.
Ryan was the one that was supposed to be taking on Fortuna on July 9th, but he backed out of the fight due to mental health woes.
With choosing not to take the fight with Fortuna, Diaz Jr moved up in weight to 135 and defeated him in a WBC 135-lb title eliminator with the interim title on the line. Diaz Jr is now the mandatory challenger to WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney.
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