By Tomi Pradarics
Unbeaten long-time featherweight contender Sakaria Lukas had an interesting post on social media Friday evening when he called out fellow contender and former world title challenger Joseph Diaz Jr.
The Namibian Lukas (21-0, 14 KOs), who was rated as high as No. 2 by the WBO at 126 pounds before he lost his position only because of inactivity, left the following message to the American Diaz: “Call Out! @JosephDiazJr you can get it anytime and you'll be very lucky to make it past round 6!”
The 26-year-old Diaz (28-1, 14 KOs), who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and has been in a 2-0 run since a hard-fought decision loss by the hands of reigning WBC featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr in his lone world title bout to date, wasted no time to counter-attack the unbeaten Namibian when he simply replied “I’ll beat that ass”.
Lukas last fought in December 2017 when he successfully defended his then WBO Africa belt for the third time. Thanks to his back-to-back title bouts under the flagship of the World Boxing Organization, the African pugilist came really close to become the mandatory challenger of champion Oscar Valdez. An unexpected promotional issue, however, kept him out of the ring entirely in 2018, which killed his momentum on the rankings of the Puerto-Rican based sanctioning body.
A well-energized Lukas is now back in the picture and his intention with the harsh social media post is to let the world know he is ready to take on one of the top contenders in the world.
“A fight between me and Joseph Diaz Jr has been long overdue dating back to the time when we were both rated highly by the WBO for a potential mandatory against Oscar Valdez which never materialized,” said Lukas to BoxingScene.com on Saturday about his call out.
“So, what better time than now to finally see two of the most dangerous southpaws in the 126-130-pound divisions giving the boxing fans a mouth-watering fight.”
After his days as a top contender with both the WBC and the WBO at 126 pounds, Diaz has outgrown the division. Following his decision loss to Russell in his first world title quest, the Californian-based Diaz challenged a secondary WBA belt against Jesus M Rojas but failed to make the featherweight limit that prevented him to grab the mentioned belt despite winning the bout by way of unanimous decision.
The fighter with the nickname ‘JoJo’ last saw action this past February when he won a near shutout 10-rounder against 130-pound gatekeeper Charles Huerta on the undercard of the Rey Vargas-Franklin Manzanilla show in Indio, California.
According to the manager of Lukas, fellow-Namibian Knowledge Ipinge, his fighter is ready to step up to the plate and take on a highly-rated contender to show the world he belongs at the highest level in the sport.
“My vision with Sakaria is to finally grant him his well-deserved shot for a world title, and to get there we simply need to face the best in the world starting with Joseph Diaz Jr. I have no doubt in my mind that Sakaria is ready to take on any fighter in the top 20 no matter the name or title they hold in the division,” Ipinge told to BoxingScene.com.
After his spicy call out on social media, Lukas has now put his message towards Diaz in an upgraded form.
“JoJo, there hasn't been any better time than now to finally make this fight happen and my plan is simply to prove to the world that I'm a legit challenger.”
You can reach Tomi Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.