JoJo Diaz Loses IBF Junior Lightweight Title After Missing Weight for His Upcoming Fight
When will these boxers learn to tend to business in terms of their weight and the scales? In the latest case of a fighter missing weight is Joseph “JoJo” Diaz (31-1, 15 KOs). In his case, his lack of discipline has grave consequences.
Diaz was set to defend the IBF World Junior Lightweight title on February 13 against mandatory challenger Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0, 12 KOs). However, during the February 12 weigh-in, Diaz hit the scale weighing 133.6 pounds.
That is 3.6 pounds over the 130-pound junior lightweight limit! The California State Athletic Commission rules have a very specific rule about boxers cutting weight. If a fighter is more than two pounds over the contracted weight for a fight, they are not allowed to go back and cut any additional pounds. This means that Diaz is forced to vacate the IBF title. The challenger, for his part, weighed in at 129.8 pounds.
It has been a long, hard road for the 28-year-old from Downey, California. Rough and choppy was his path to winning a world title. He had hoped a title defense against Rakhimov as a springboard onto bigger and better fights in the division.
With the likes of WBC champion Miguel Berchelt, WBA ‘Super’ World champion Gervonta Davis, and WBO belt-holder Jamel Herring, Diaz was in play for big fights and substantial paydays.
STAYING ON POINT AT ALL TIMES
Are those opportunities now squandered? No, but this is a case of him shooting himself in the foot. It is a terrible indictment when you miss weight by this much. Either you had issues in camp, or you have just outgrown the division.
It is his first fight since defeating Tevin Farmer to win the title in January of 2020. Some may use the inactivity as an excuse for being overweight.
However, Rakhimov’s last fight was in September 2019 and he was able to make weight. Plus, this is where professionalism comes into play. You are supposed to always tend to your business. That is why you get paid the big bucks.
Despite Diaz’s failure to make weight, the fight with Rakhimov will go on. It will take place as scheduled at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. The bout will be aired live on DAZN.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.