Joseph Diaz Jr. (32-1-1, 15 KOs) won the WBC interim lightweight title last Friday night with a 12 round unanimous decision over Javier Fortuna (36-3-1, 25 KOs) in the co-feature bout on the Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez vs. Sullivan Barrera card at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
Diaz Jr, 28, has now got the golden ticket for him to challenge for a world title against WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney. In addition to the WBC interim 135-lb title that Diaz Jr won last Friday, he also picked up the WBC mandatory position to challenge Haney.
Diaz Jr said after the fight that he wants either Ryan Garcia or Devinn Haney next. Given that Ryan is coming off an anxiety issue, he’s probably not going to want to fight Diaz Jr when he returns to the ring.
Diaz’s best chance is to fight Haney next because it’s a fight that he can now get because of his mandatory status with the WBC.
Diaz Jr warns Haney
“Devin Haney, I know I’m way stronger than him, and I know I have more heart than him. I don’t think he has the heart that I do,” said Joseph Diaz Jr to Fighthub.
“I’m going to take him to deep waters. I know he’s been deep waters before, but he hasn’t been like how I bring.
I bring that pressure both mentally and physically. So I don’t think he’s fought a guy like me, and it’ll be a tough fight.
“I know he’s a solid fighter, so it’ll be tough for me as well. I’m willing to leave it all in the ring and give the fans a great fight,” said Diaz Jr.
Haney would be a massively difficult fight for Diaz Jr because he’s got such a great jab, and he’s able to do control fights by staying on the outside.
For Diaz Jr to beat Haney, he would need to fight him in close the entire night. If Haney can keep the contest at a distance, Diaz Jr won’t stand a chance.
Jo Jo says Ryan Garcia doesn’t have a heart
“Ryan Garcia is a hell of a fighter as well,” said Jo Jo Diaz. “It’s the exact same thing. I don’t think he has the heart or the will that I do.
“I’m a serious fighter, and I’m a guy that applies a lot of pressure. Even in getting hurt and getting cut, I’m still going to fight through it.
“I was dictating the fight, and I felt that I could have stopped Javier Fortuna if I had applied more pressure and threw more shots,” said Diaz Jr.
“As I said, I got a little injury, so I had to make adjustments. But when I was applying pressure, I knew I was hurting him. I felt like if I had opened up a little more, I would have gotten him out of there.
“Javier Fortuna, he has pop, but it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. I knew he was going to try and overwhelm me and try and knock me out.
“But I’ve been sparring 160 and 170-lb men where I’m able to take their punches. So I knew he wasn’t going to be able to hurt me and land any flush shots, and he didn’t. Not at all,” said Joseph Diaz Jr.
You can’t rule out a knockout win for Ryan Garcia against Diaz Jr. Ryan hits incredibly harder, and there aren’t too many fighters at 135 or 140 that can take his power.
Yeah, Ryan has flaws on defense, and his chin might not be what it needs to be. But in terms of power and speed, Ryan might be the best in the 135-lb division.
Tank Davis hits hard when he loads up, but he’s not someone that punches with the kind of power that Ryan throws with. The Diaz Jr that we saw last Friday night would be in trouble against Ryan.
Diaz Jr will have to keep winning for him to get a chance to fight Ryan Garcia. If Diaz Jr his title shot against Haney, he can forget about fighting Ryan ever.
Diaz Jr fought well at times against Fortuna, but he didn’t look like a force of nature. He was forced to tough it out by walking through many shots to grind out a win in a fight that was closer than the scores handed down by the judges.