By Miguel Rivera
Last Saturday night, United States Olympian Joseph Diaz lost his undefeated record as he challenged WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr., who is also a former United States Olympian.
Ralph Heredia, manager of the Californian boxer, revealed that Diaz had suffered a left hand injury during the fight with Russell and that this week he had x-ray studies and luckily no major injury was found.
Diaz gave away the early rounds, before he started to get his engine going with shots to the body. Russell was able to control much of the action with his jab, and in the end he was able to secure a twelve round unanimous decision.
But next week he will undergo an MRI to rule out any physical issues, and the manager believes that he could potentially return in September.
The manager expressed his wish to see Diaz return soon and prove that he can fight at the highest level.
"'JoJo' Diaz arrived with a lot of desire. He was also fighting with the referee, but we are not men of excuses. Today 'JoJo' is a fighter with more hunger and will return stronger," said to ESPN Deportes.
"He hurt his left hand, and on Monday they did X-rays and they came out negative. I would like to see him fight in September. He showed without a doubt that he can compete at the highest level. If the fight with Russell had been 15 rounds then maybe we would be celebrating today. It is true that he started a little late, but the fight was his at the end."
For now, Joseph expressed criticism of referee Kenny Chevalier for being more on Russell's side, but in the end, it was not enough to take the scorecards in his favor, leaving his record now at 26-1 and 14 by way of knockout.