Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz will no longer fight this weekend.
The former IBF junior lightweight titlist was a late scratch from the Alexis Rocha-Giovanni Santillan DAZN undercard, BoxingScene.com has learned. Diaz was due to face Richard Medina but fell ill during training camp due to Covid-like symptoms and is physically unable to move forward with the bout scheduled for this Saturday at Kia Forum in Inglewood, California.
Boxing Scene was informed that efforts are being made by Golden Boy Promotions to secure a new opponent for Medina (15-1, 8KOs) to keep him on the show. The bout will likely no longer appear on the main DAZN telecast but it is a primary goal to at least allow the 23-year-old San Antonio native the chance to still fight on Saturday.
Diaz (33-4-1, 15KOs) would have fought for the third time in 2023 and the fourth in the past 51 weeks had he been able to move forward with the bout. The 30-year-old South El Monte, California native returned to the win column in his most recent bout, a ten-round decision over Jerry Perez on July 8 in San Antonio.
The bout served as the co-feature to a show that saw unbeaten lightweight Floyd ‘Kid Austin’ Schofield elevated to the main event. There was much discussion post-fight about a head-on collision between Diaz and Schofield, though the two appeared to be on separate paths for the remainder of the year.
It is unclear when Diaz will be back at full strength to return to the ring. He’d previously lost three in a row prior to the win over Perez in July. However, Diaz had also struggled with weight in each of his past three contests dating back to a twelve-round loss to unbeaten William Zepeda last October 29 in San Diego.
Medina has won his past two starts since a ten-round defeat to rising featherweight contender Raymond Ford last June 25 in his San Antonio hometown. Should he remain on the show this weekend, it will mark the first U.S. appearance for Medina outside of his Texas home state.
Headlining the show, Santa Ana’s Rocha (23-1, 15KOs) and San Diego’s Santillan (31-0, 16KOs) meet in a pivotal welterweight battle. Rocha is already the number-one ranked WBO contender and in line to challenge for a title in the year ahead, with a win on Saturday. Santillan—who is promoted by Top Rank—is ranked number-five by the same organization and can just easily slide into the top slot.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox