Jo-Jo Diaz Jr: “I want Leo Santa Cruz the Most!”
This past January 30, Joseph “Jo-Jo” Diaz (31-1, 15 KO’s) achieved a major professional goal by soundly defeating Tevin “The American Idol” Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KO’s) to become the new IBF world super featherweight champion.
To the make the feat even more impressive, from the second round on, Jo-Jo was forced to contend with a rather gruesome gapping cut over his left eye.
Despite the injury, Diaz was able to control and dominate the fight which resulted in his receiving a unanimous decision win. Technically speaking there was rematch clause that Farmer has stated that he would like to take advantage of. If left up to Diaz however, as he explained to Fight Hub TV, the American Idol is definitely not who he would want fight next.
Due to the manner in which he was able to command the fight, Jo-Jo doesn’t believe that Farmer warrants an immediate rematch. The native Californian has no problem facing Farmer down the line, yet at the moment he can’t foresee a quick turnaround bout playing out anymore beneficially for the American Idol. Therefore, rather than dance with the former champion again, he would love to move on to bigger fish to fry.
Aside from thinking it will playout in similar fashion, if not more grisly, Diaz has no taste for a rematch because he is currently focused on unifying the division. With this being the case, he would most like to take on another champion.
“I want to unify the division! That’s why I said I kind of don’t want to fight Tevin Farmer because I feel like there is no need. But yeah there is a rematch clause and so we probably will fight, but my main goal is to fight the mandatory because I got to get that out the way. Then after that, go after the champions at the weight class.
“I don’t want to be the type of champion that is fighting guys that are not even in the top 10. That is fighting guys ranked 136 just getting pay days. I don’t want to be like that because I am a fighter dude!
“I love fighting! I want to fight the best and I want to keep on improving. So by fighting other champions and elite fighters it’s going to make me motivated, make me happy and make me want to strive to be the best and train at my best. So I want to clean out the division.”
THE HIT LIST
After handling business with mandatory Shavkatdzhon “Shere Khan” Rakhimov (15-0, 12 KO’s) or the Farmer rematch, Diaz is very clear on the first big name that he’d like to dance with.
“I feel like no one can fuck with me at 130. Miguel Merchelt, Oscar Valdez, all these champions. I really want to fight Leo Santa Cruz. I already told my manager Ralph Ferretti, I spoke to a couple people saying that I want Leo Santa Cruz or Abner Mares.
“That would be a good fight for me as well. A good fight and a good entertaining fight I think for the fight fans. But my call out right now is Leo Santa Cruz, I want to fight Leo Santa Cruz at 130.
“Especially since he is moving up and then once I clean out the division, I’ll move up to 135. But yeah, 130 is going to be the weight for now.”
Clearly Diaz is maintaining a high expectation for himself! Although, if the prizefights that he desires unfold in the manner that he wants fight fans will be getting a great deal of topflight action from Joseph Diaz for a while to come.
By: Bakari Simpson