Joseph Diaz Jr. was congratulated by the emcee of Friday’s weigh-in for making weight for his 130-pound title defense against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov on Saturday night.
The problem, of course, is that Diaz didn’t even come close to meeting his contractual obligation for what was supposed to be his first defense of the IBF junior lightweight title he won last year. Diaz (31-1, 15 KOs) stepped on the California State Athletic Commission’s scale at 133.6 pounds, roughly 3½ pounds above the junior lightweight limit.
The Downey, California, resident is not expected to attempt to weigh in again Friday, which would prevent him from having a chance to retain his title versus Rakhimov in the main event of DAZN’s five-fight stream from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California (8 p.m. EST; 5 p.m. PST). Tajikistan’s Rakhimov (15-0, 12 KOs), the mandatory challenger for Diaz’s IBF 130-pound crown, can win the title because he officially weighed 129.8 pounds.
The 28-year-old Diaz had hoped to make his first defense of the IBF junior lightweight title he won from Tevin Farmer a year ago in Miami. The left-handed Diaz defeated Philadelphia’s Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KOs, 1 NC) by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder last January 30 at Meridian at Island Gardens.
Farmer had an immediate rematch clause in his contract for that optional title defense. The time frame for that second Diaz-Farmer fight expired, however, which enabled Diaz to move forward with his mandated defense against Rakhimov.
The 26-year-old Rakhimov has not fought since he stopped South Africa’s Azinga Fuzile (14-1, 8 KOs) in the eighth round of their IBF elimination match in September 2019 in East London, South Africa.
Moments before Diaz and Rakhimov weighed in Friday, Patrick Teixeira and Brian Castano came in beneath the junior middleweight limit for their 12-round, 154-pound championship match.
Teixeira weighed in at 153.4 pounds, slightly less than Castano, who got on the scale at 153.8 pounds.
Argentina’s Castano (16-0-1, 12 KOs), the mandatory challenger for Teixeira’s title, is regularly listed as a 6-1 favorite over the defending champion. Teixeira (31-1, 22 KOs) will make the first defense of the WBO junior middleweight title he won by out-pointing Dominican contender Carlos Adames (18-1, 14 KOs) unanimously in November 2019 at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Teixeira, 30, and Castano, 31, were supposed to fight April 25 at Fantasy Springs. That card was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The weights for the first three fights DAZN will stream Saturday night are listed below.
Ronny Rios (32-3, 16 KOs), Santa Ana, California, 121.4 pounds vs. Oscar Negrete (19-2-2, 7 KOs), Tierralta, Colombia, 121.6 pounds, 10 rounds, junior featherweights.
Shane Mosley Jr. (16-3, 9 KOs), Pomona, California, 161.6 pounds vs. Cristian Olivas (20-7, 17 KOs), Mexicali, Mexico, 161.6 pounds, 10 rounds, super middleweights.
Bektemir Melikuziev (6-0, 5 KOs), Shoimbek, Uzbekistan, 170.6 pounds vs. Morgan Fitch (19-4-1, 8 KOs), Pittsburgh, 170.8 pounds, 8 rounds, light heavyweights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.