By Jake Donovan
Joseph Diaz Jr. was gunning for a title shot in his next fight but will instead have to settle for the brother of a former title challenger.
The 2012 U.S. Olympian and current 130-pound contender was among the recognizable names announced to appear on the undercard of the May 4 World middleweight championship clash between lineal king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs.
For his part on the DAZN-streamed show, Diaz will take on Freddy Fonseca (26-2-1, 17KOs), a 27-year old southpaw from Nicaragua who will fight in the U.S. for the first time in his journeyman career.
News of the matchup—which was first reported by ESPN.com senior writer Dan Rafael—was confirmed to BoxingScene.com by Roberto Diaz, executive matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions who will present the May 4 card live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The pairing required confirmation not only for the sake of reporting but also as a point of clarification for Golden Boy’s own fighter.
Diaz (28-1, 14KOs) was aiming for a showdown with reigning 130-pound titlist Tevin Farmer, who is just weeks removed from a 12-round decision win over Jono Carroll. Their March clash was the fourth in less than eight months for Philadelphia’s Farmer, who won a vacant title in a 12-round win over Billy Dib last August in Australia.
Following his win over Carroll this past March, Farmer took a much-needed vacation as he doesn’t plan to fight again until summertime at the earliest. Given that, Diaz was happy to settle for a comparison-type matchup as he believed he was facing former title challenger Francisco Fonseca, Freddy’s older brother whom faced Farmer last December along with Gervonta Davis in Aug. ’17.
“Well this is fresh news to me, too,” Diaz declared on social media upon reading the news himself of Freddy Fonseca being the opponent. “I thought I was fighting Francisco Fonseca from Costa Rica.”
Instead, Diaz gets the middle child among the boxing Fonseca brothers. Freddie is two years older than Francisco—the most accomplished of the trio—and three years younger than Jose Fonseca, a 30-year old whose last fight came in 2015, winning for the fourth straight time in improving his otherwise rough record to 6-9-5 (1KO).
As for the one Diaz is actually fighting, Fonseca takes a significant step up in class in fighting in the United States. The entirety of his 29-fight career has taken place in Central America, very little of which has come versus opponents with winning records much less any boxer of note.
Diaz fights for the second time as a super featherweight, his divisional debut coming this past February in a 10-round win over durable trialhorse Charles Huerta. The 26-year old California native came up short in his lone title fight, dropping a competitive but clear 12-round decision to Gary Russell Jr. in their featherweight title fight last May.
A bid to capture a second title instead provided confirmation of his needing to move up in weight. Diaz outpointed Puerto Rico’s Jesus M. Rojas over 12 rounds last August, but in what amounted to a non-title fight after coming in over the divisional limit. He missed weight by just 0.5 pounds but struggled enough in camp to realize it was time to move up to super featherweight.
The pairing is one of six confirmed fights for the May 4 show which also includes unbeaten prospects Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Lamont Roach in separate contests. The event took a minor hit when former middleweight titlist David Lemieux suffered an injury during training camp, thus scrapping his planned super middleweight title eliminator versus John Ryder.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox