Once-beaten Joseph Diaz Jr. is looking to rebuild his career after a disastrous weekend.
This past Saturday night in Indio, Diaz fought to a twelve round majority draw with Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov.
One day prior, Diaz lost the IBF junior lightweight title on the scale - after coming in 3.6-pounds overweight. As a result, he shelled out a portion of his purse to Rakhimov and the California State Athletic Commission.
On Monday, the IBF ordered Rakhimov and Kenichi Ogawa to fight each other for the vacant title.
According to Diaz, he intends to remain at 130-pounds - and he wants the opportunity to capture another world title.
Late Sunday night, Diaz took to social media and revealed his desire to face the winner of the upcoming WBC title clash between Miguel Berchelt and Oscar Valdez - or the winner of next week's WBO title fight between Jamel Herring and Carl Frampton.
Berchelt (38-1, 34 KOs) will make a mandated defense of his WBC super featherweight title versus Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) on February 20 at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Diaz realizes why the bigger Berchelt is the favorite, but he is pulling for Valdez to defeat his Mexican rival.
“With the Miguel Berchelt-Oscar Valdez fight, I think Oscar Valdez has more boxing IQ and more boxing experience,” Diaz said to BoxingScene.com. “But I don’t think that he has the power to hurt Miguel Berchelt. I think that he’s gonna have to overwhelm him, but Miguel Berchelt has a lot more strength in there, where he can do whatever he wants with Oscar Valdez. It’s gonna be a tough fight, but I’m rooting for Oscar Valdez because I seen Oscar Valdez grow up in the amateurs, just like me. So, I’m hoping he wins. It’s a very, very tough fight, but it’s gonna be an action-packed fight for sure.”
Cincinnati’s Herring (22-2, 10 KOs) will defend his WBO junior lightweight title against Northern Ireland’s Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs) on February 27 in London. Diaz didn’t pick a winner, though he can envision Frampton becoming a three-weight world champion.
“I feel like the Herring-Frampton fight is gonna be a very tough fight for both fighters,” Diaz said. “I think Jamel Herring has a lot in his arsenal and he’ll have a lot of strength inside that ring come that night against Carl Frampton. He’s the bigger fighter, he’s lefty and he’s the longer fighter, where he could try to keep away from Carl Frampton and just out-box him.
“Carl Frampton is kinda small, but I think that if Carl Frampton brings that ferociousness and that type of dog that he has, where he just applies a lot of pressure, I think that it could overwhelm Jamel Herring. It seems like Jamel Herring, he folds under pressure sometimes. And I think that if Carl Frampton is able to cut off the ring and break Jamel Herring down, I think that he could definitely beat Jamel Herring.”
As much as Diaz wants the Herring-Frampton winner, the WBO has ordered whoever wins to fight its mandatory challenger, former WBO featherweight champ Shakur Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs), in his subsequent appearance.