Matchroom appears to have successfully taken their lemons and made lemonade. Mike Coppinger reports that Joseph Diaz Jr., who was slated to face WBC interim lightweight champion Ryan Garcia before “Kingry” injured his hand, has agreed to meet world titlist Devin Haney on December 3rd or 4th.
The contracts are “not signed but should be completed in coming days.” Both dates appear open at the moment; that week’s big attraction is Gervonta Davis vs. Rolando Romero on the 5th, and time zones mean it wouldn’t compete with Arthur-Yarde II on the 4th.
Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KO) blames Haney’s (26-0, 15 KO) insistence on a rematch clause for the delay.
He want a rematch Clause in there that’s why it taking so long to get it done But we’ll give him the beating twice if he want it. I’m making sure this fight happens for the fans https://t.co/45SlaSGKcR— Joseph Diaz (@JosephDiazJr) October 22, 2021
Diaz occasionally makes himself very difficult to root for, but I do support his stance on such clauses. They’re a plague.
Bizarre insistence on making every major fight a best-of-three aside, it’s a great fight and the stiffest test of both men’s careers. Though he scored a solid win over the still-dangerous Jorge Linares earlier this year, Haney’s still got a lot to prove, while Diaz hit the ground running in his newest weight class with a strong showing against Javier Fortuna.
Between this and Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos Jr. the week prior, we’re in for a very good stretch of lightweight action.