By Steve Kim
Featherweight contender Joseph Diaz (24-0, 13 KOs) has a new opponent after Jorge Lara, who was originally slated to face him on the Saul Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin pay-per-view undercard at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday pulled out last night citing a back injury. Now, Diaz is paired with Rafael Rivera, in a bout that will remain as a WBC eliminator.
Over the summer the plan was to pair the second-ranked Diaz with the third-ranked Josh Warrington. But suddenly Warrington and his representatives pulled out of the purse bid and Golden Boy was left scrambling for a replacement.
"I was very surprised,"admitted Diaz. "Especially because I tweeted Josh Warrington and said let's make the fight happen. He tweeted me back saying that he was going to sign the contract any time, any day, he's willing to fight me and go go and do this."
But it wasn't to be, to which Diaz now says - "I have no respect for Josh Warrington anymore. I truly believe he should've just took the fight. If he's ranked in the WBC and he doesn't take the fight for a WBC mandatory to face Gary Russell, man, that's petty.
"That's unbelievable anyone in that situation would take the fight."
So does Diaz place the blame on Warrington or his promoter, Frank Warren?
"I think it was both,"he stated,''because personally Josh Warrington has a good fan-base where he's from, he can sell-out an arena where he fights and make some good money fighting a decent opponent and still come out victorious. So at the end of the day it's just business for them."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com