SAN ANTONIO -- There was far more at stake for Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz than a much-needed return to the win column.
A dominant showing in a ten-round victory over Jerry Perez saw Diaz end a three-fight losing streak that was coming up on its two-year anniversary this Sunday. The former IBF junior lightweight titlist delivered a solid performance in their DAZN aired bout Saturday from AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Despite his recent skid, Diaz has managed to remain among the busier notable fighters in the sport. Saturday’s victory was the third fight in just nine months for Diaz (33-4-1, 15KOs), who confirmed his intentions to add to that rate of activity.
“When I return in September, I am going to be on my A-game,” Diaz told BoxingScene.com of a targeted return that was confirmed by Golden Boy Promotions.
Diaz was just 1-3-1 in his previous five fights heading into this past weekend. It all came after his January 2020 IBF 130-pound title winning effort over Tevin Farmer. It was the last time he made weight; his first title defense ended at the scales, when Diaz was heavy and had to vacate ahead of his February 2021 draw versus Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov.
A July 2021 interim WBC lightweight title win over Javier Fortuna was followed by a loss to Devin Haney in their Dec. 2021 title consolidation bout. Haney has since fully unified the lightweight division, while Diaz has not come close to making the 135-pound limit in losses to William Zepeda and Mercito Gesta and in Saturday’s win over Perez, where he weighed a career-heaviest 141 ½ pounds.
“I’m sorry again, Golden Boy, for not making weight for this fight,” Diaz stated during Saturday’s post fight press conference while seated next to Golden Boy president Eric. Gomez. “I will be fighting at 135, that is my main weight. After my last loss to Mercito Gesta, I just turned up. I was just eating, partying and stuff like that. I did what I had to do to be prepared for this fight. For my next fight, I will be at 135.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox