Joseph Diaz Jr had fallen short in world title chances before, but tonight in Miami, the former Olympian cashed in, beating Tevin Farmer by clear decision to win the IBF junior lightweight title.
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Diaz (31-1, 15 KO) won on scores of 115-113, 115-113, and 116-112, the first two closer than pretty much anyone else had it. Bad Left Hook scored the bout 116-112 and 117-111 for Diaz.
The 27-year-old Diaz simply looked like the better fighter tonight, ending the nearly seven-year unbeaten streak of Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KO). The 29-year-old Farmer had been one of boxing’s more unlikely success stories in the last few years, bouncing back from a 7-4-1 career start to become a world titleholder, but things went wrong quickly tonight, and he never got on track.
After the first round, Farmer reported to his corner that he’d hurt his right hand, which took his jab away. He and Diaz clashed heads hard in the second frame, with Diaz coming away with a gruesome cut on his left eyebrow, which his team did an excellent job controlling. Farmer, too, may have been more impacted by the clash than we could tell, as he just didn’t fight or look particularly like himself throughout the rest of the bout, which the DAZN team made sure to comment on about 110 times without once suggesting maybe the clash of heads had something to do with it.
“That shit’s ugly as hell,” Diaz said of the cut. “I knew it was pretty bad once it started leaking, but it was a championship fight. I’m a warrior, man. This was my only opportunity and I had to take advantage of it. I didn’t want to change the game plan. I kept my composure and my trust in my corner. Tevin Farmer is a hell of a fighter, guys. I thank him for giving me this opportunity, and I know we’re going to have a rematch so we’ll run it back.”
“He put up a hell of a fight,” Farmer said. “I did fuck my hand up in the first round. But he put up a hell of a fight, I don’t think that really played a big part in the fight. He got the job done tonight. I couldn’t use my jab how I wanted to use it, but he capitalized on it and that’s what champions do. He won the fight.”
Farmer confirmed that he plans to exercise his rematch clause, saying he would like to do it in April or May.