By Steve Kim
Sources have advised BoxingScene.com that a featherweight bout between Joseph Diaz and Jayson Velez has been finalized and will be the HBO co-feature on the night of March 26th at the Oracle in Oakland, California, where Andre Ward makes his return and faces undefeated Sullivan Barrera in a light heavyweight main event.
Diaz, a 2012 U.S. Olympian with a record of 19-0(11) is promoted by Golden Boy and had a strong 2015 where he notched five victories.
Diaz stopped Juan Luis Hernandez in March, then won a ten round unanimous decision over Giovanni Delgado in May. He came back in July and October to decision veterans Rene Alvarado and Ruben Tamaypo and then closed out the year in December with a knockout of Hugo Partida in two rounds.
The Puerto Rican Velez, who has a mark of 23-1-1 (16 KO's), is coming off a ten-round loss to Ronnie Rios on the Saul Alvarez-Miguel Cotto undercard on November 21st in Las Vegas. Earlier that year he won a ten round unanimous decision over Damiel Ramirez. Velez had made his HBO debut back in 2014, when he fought to a draw with then IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich in the co-featured slot to Terence Crawford-Ray Beltran in Omaha.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.