Joseph Diaz defeats Jesus Rojas via Unanimous Decision
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: August 13, 2018
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – At The Avalon in Hollywood, California Joseph "JoJo” Diaz (27-1, 14 KOs) stepped in the ring against Caguas, Puerto Rico’s Jesus Rojas (26-2-2, 19 KOs) in a twelve-round bout. The bout would have been for Rojas’ WBA featherweight (126) championship; however, Diaz came in over the divisions’ limit of 126 pounds making him ineligible to win the title even if he came out victorious. Despite the WBA title not being on the line, Rojas in many respects was a perfect opponent for Diaz after suffering the first loss of his professional career against Gary Russell Jr this past May.
Against Russell, Diaz lost a unanimous decision in a fight where he was outboxed putting himself in too big a hole despite mounting a comeback in the later rounds. Diaz’s goal against Rojas was to start applying pressure early in the bout and maintain his stamina throughout all twelve rounds. For the majority of the rounds in the fight, Diaz’s game plan worked. The California native would make sure to always be the first fighter to initiate the action in the match. Rojas would find success throughout the middle rounds in trapping Diaz against the ropes. At times the Puerto Rican would outwork Diaz landing uppercuts and at one point looked to almost close Diaz’s left eye.
The 12-round experience against Russell helped Diaz against Rojas as he took over the bout in the championship rounds. The Californian used his right hand as a range finder to set up punches while Rojas walked forward. When the final bell rang, both fighters looked satisfied with their performances as both fighters gave the fans in attendance action in every round.
The judges awarded the bout to Diaz via unanimous decision with scorecards of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113. Diaz landed 65 out of 184 total power punches at a 35.3 percent connect rate. Rojas landed 46 out of 139 total power punches at a 33.1 percent connect rate.
Diaz will forward to getting back in the ring with some of the other champions in the featherweight division. However, if he is unable to make weight, he will have to move up to 130-pounds. A rematch with Rojas could be a possibility for both men as the fight provided enough entertainment to be seen again.
The Diaz-Rojas bout was the first of many shows that will be streamed live from Golden Boy Promotions’ Facebook page. The first show had a few hiccups. The stream went down after the fourth round and did not come back until the middle of the eighth round for many viewers. This will be a work in progress, and with many more platforms such as DAZN, ESPN+ and Showtime utilizing streaming services boxing fans can expect more promoters to go in the streaming direction in the oncoming years.
(Featured Photo: Golden Boy Promotions)