Javier Fortuna’s had a run of big fights falling through, from Luke Campbell and Jorge Linares last year to Ryan Garcia this year, but he’ll finally have a chance to force a WBC title bout with Devin Haney if he beats Joseph Diaz Jr on July 9.
Diaz (31-1-1, 15 KO) offered to step in for Garcia when “Kingry” pulled out of the Fortuna fight, and has been granted the chance. “JoJo” will be coming up from 130 to 135 lbs, and looking to put the criticism of missing weight before his draw with Shavkat Rakhimov in February behind him.
Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KO) has been in prime position to get a WBC title fight since 2019, and various eliminators and interim title bouts fell through for one reason or another. He was kind when Garcia withdrew, and to his credit as much as Diaz’s, he’s accepted a good opponent for the date anyway — and he respects Diaz stepping in, too.
“I give Diaz credit for having the balls to fight me,” Fortuna said. “Devin Haney doesn’t have those balls. But after I win this fight, Haney will have 90 days to find them.”
Diaz-Fortuna will be for the WBC interim title, and the winner will indeed get an order for a fight with Haney (26-0, 15 KO). Furthermore, the winner will be a good opponent for Haney, and given all parties will be DAZN-affiliated if not with the same promoter, should be an easy enough fight to make.
That said, it’s boxing, so who knows? Maybe Teofimo Lopez and Haney will actually fight, which is obviously much bigger. Maybe Ryan Garcia will come back in and Haney will fight him, which is still a bigger fight, too. If Haney fought Lopez, Devin could hilariously ditch the WBC title and fight for Lopez’s “franchise” belt — as well as the WBA, IBF, and WBO belts, obviously — and leave that to Diaz or Fortuna and, you know, somebody or other. That’d be very boxing.
First things first, Diaz and Fortuna have to fight, and then we go from there.