By Ryan Burton
In front of a sold-out crowd of 22,358 raucous fans at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas presented live by HBO Pay-Per-View and before 17,931 Closed Circuit attendees, Joseph 'JoJo' Diaz, Jr. (25-0, 13 KOs) scored a dominant 12-round unanimous decision victory against Rafael "Big Bang" Rivera (25-1-2, 16 KOs) to earn a shot at the WBC Featherweight title.
Diaz, a native of South El Monte, California, boxed comfortably from his southpaw stance throughout the fight, pawing with his right hand before unleashing powerful right hooks and straight left hands on Rivera, a native of Tijuana, Mexico.
Diaz won with two scores of 119-109 and one score of 120-108.
"I feel like I had a good performance overall," said Joseph Diaz. "I was able to put pressure and dictate the pace of the fight, and be able to enter into a lot of exchanges. Rivera is strong, has good body shots, and had good speed. I think we gave them a good show tonight."
"I feel that trying to make weight in time for the fight really drained me," said Rafael Rivera. "I wasn't able to perform at my tiptop best. Other than that, I believe we did good despite the circumstances."
Diego De La Hoya (20-0, 9 KOs) outclassed Randy "El Matador" Caballero (24-1, 14 KOs) over 10 rounds to win the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight titles by unanimous decision. De La Hoya, of Mexicali, Mexico, started off explosively by landing a fusillade of punches that caused Caballero's left eye to swell by the third round. Caballero, who fights out of Coachella, California, was the aggressor for much of the fight, but De La Hoya's speed and size advantage nullified Caballero's offense. De La Hoya won with scores of 90-100, 92-98, and 92-98.