Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr was hoping for a world title shot against Tevin Farmer for his next fight, but with that not happening, he’ll stay busy with a Sept. 21 return in Mexicali, Mexico, facing Jesus Cuadro in a main event that will stream live on Facebook for Golden Boy Fight Night.
Diaz (29-1, 15 KO) moved up to 130 pounds this year, following a 2018 where he lost a world title fight at 126 to Gary Russell Jr in May, then failed to make weight in August for a bout with Jesus Rojas, which he did win by decision.
As a super featherweight, he defeated Charles Huerta by decision on Feb. 9, and followed up with a wipeout win over an overmatched Freddy Fonseca on the Canelo-Jacobs card on May 4. The win over Fonseca gave Diaz the ridiculous WBA “gold” title, which he’ll defend against Cuadro next weekend.
Cuadro (18-5, 14 KO) is an opponent rather along the lines of Fonseca. The 33-year-old Venezuelan is currently ranked No. 110 in the world by BoxRec at lightweight.
The southpaw Cuadro is 4-3 in his last seven and while he’s fought in Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Colombia, which makes him officially Well-Traveled, he’s never beaten anyone good. He’s not a complete and utter scrub, mind you — he’s never been stopped and gave decent scraps to Roman Andreev, Diego Magdaleno, and Jose Matias Romeroin his recent losses — he’s not the level of opponent you’d want for Diaz, but Diaz has to either fight or sit, and it’s probably better to stay busy.
“I’m ready to defend my WBA Gold Title in Mexicali,” said Diaz. ”I want to show everyone that I am proud to be Mexican-American. I’m ready to put on an entertaining performance for my raza. I’m going to put everything on the line for those who have been with me since the beginning.”
“Joseph Diaz Jr is an elite fighter, so we have to defeat him,” said Cuadro. “I’m a natural 130-pounder, and I’ve even fought at lightweight. That will give me an advantage because I’m going to go into the fight with a lot of strength. I can’t tell you how the fight will finish, but I can tell you that I’ll be walking away with my hand raised in victory.”
In the co-feature, Leonardo Baez (16-2, 9 KO) will defend the NABA super bantamweight title against Edixon Perez (19-4, 14 KO). Baez, 24, is coming off of an upset win over former Olympian Alberto Melian, dominating Melian over 10 rounds on July 18 and getting the deserved decision. He’s won four straight overall. Perez, 27, is another Venezuelan, and last fought on Aug. 3 in Brazil, dropping a decision to Antonio Paulo Soares. He’s 2-2 in his last four, and the two wins came over guys who’d never won a fight before.
Cristian Bielma, Jan Salvatierra, Angel Villa, and more will also be part of the card.