The super featherweight division will take center stage for the month of February. Two long-awaited championship showdowns will take place.
WBC World Super Featherweight Champion Miguel Berchelt will face off against Oscar Valdez in a Mexican showdown on February 20th. WBO World Featherweight Champion Jamel Herring will square off with Carl Frampton on February 27th.
Before those fights take place, let’s not forget about Joseph Diaz, who will be defending his IBF title this Saturday, live on DAZN.
Former 2012 Olympian Joseph “Jo-Jo” Diaz (31-1, 15 KO’s) has been fighting as a professional for eight years and has done well. Diaz was a decorated amateur champion, and once he turned pro, the sky was the limit.
He worked his way to his first title shot back in 2018 against one of the best fighters in the featherweight division. That was against WBC World Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr. Diaz fought a great fight and hung in tough, but he came up short at the end. He lost the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision.
There was no shame in the loss. He went to distance with Russell, and he showed he can compete with the best fighters in the division. Diaz took it as a learning lesson; he came back and got a second title shot in less than three months. He fought another tough challenger.
Diaz could have fought a lesser opponent but decided to challenge himself once again. He fought Jesus Rojas of Puerto Rico for the WBA World Featherweight title. Rojas was another top fighter in the Featherweight division. Diaz came out victorious and won a decisive unanimous decision. However, he would be denied of the title again as Diaz failed to make weight for the fight.
In 2019, Diaz did not give up and tried his chances at a title in the super featherweight division. This time it would pay off. Last year, Diaz scored an upset and captured the IBF World Super Featherweight title by defeating Tevin Farmer in a twelve round unanimous decision.
It would be Diaz’s best performance of his career. Farmer fought Diaz’s fight and traded punches with him on the inside. Diaz ultimately outworked Farmer in the fight. Diaz also showed he can fight through adversity as he suffered a nasty cut in the second round on his left eye and fought hard all the way through. The third time was a charm for Diaz as he became a world champion.
Now, Diaz will be making his first title defense on Saturday, and his opponent will be Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0, 12 KO’s) of Russia. Like Diaz, Rakhimov was an outstanding amateur who has been very successful as a pro so far.
He is currently being trained by the legendary Freddie Roach. The undefeated Russian has an aggressive style and likes to throw hard punches. Diaz is the favorite in the fight but is expected to have a tough fight. Overall it should be a fun fight.
Once again, Diaz will be taking on another tough challenger, and he does not take easy fights. Diaz wants to prove he is not afraid of nobody. This Saturday, Diaz not only wants to win but make a statement that he is one of the best fighters in the super featherweight division.