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Joseph Diaz Jr. vs Shavkat Rakhimov in the works for February 20th

The rematch clause compelling Diaz to once again face Tevin Farmer has reportedly expired

BOXING: JAN 30 Miami Fight Night Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Looks like Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder wasn’t a unique case. Mike Coppinger reports that the rematch clause between IBF super featherweight champion Joseph Diaz Jr. and Tevin Farmer, from whom he took the belt in February, has expired. Instead, “JoJo” has come to terms with mandatory challenger Shavkat Rakhimov, and the pair have a “[w]orking date of February 20th.”

The pair had asked for and received an extension on their purse bid deadline in an effort to iron out the final details.

Rakhimov (15-0, 12 KO) secured mandatory status by knocking out unbeaten prospect Azinga Fuzile last September. Things quickly took a turn for the bizarre and controversial, however; Fuzile’s team claimed, and the tape seemed to show, Rakhimov’s team giving him smelling salts before the comeback stoppage. Local authorities then discovered an enormous amount of drugs and related equipment in Rakhimov’s hotel room, which his manager claimed he himself was using to recover from illness and prepare for a marathon.

Despite this, the IBF ultimately upheld the win and gave Fuzile another final eliminator for next crack at the belt, which has yet to be scheduled. “Golden Boy” stays busy in his native South Africa on December 6th.

Diaz (31-1, 15 KO), a former U.S. Olympian who moved up from 126 after an unsuccessful bid for Gary Russell Jr.’s title, took a clear decision over Farmer in January, setting up a lengthy, COVID-muddled battle to stage the rematch. Barring a legal challenge from Farmer’s team, that looks to be off the table, at least for now.

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