Joseph Diaz Jr. got a second shot at a featherweight world title against Jesus Rojas, but even with a victory over him, he wasn’t able to fully enjoy the win.
Diaz missed weight a day before he was supposed to challenge for Rojas’ WBA “regular” featherweight title on August 11 in the first Golden Boy Promotions card streamed exclusively on Facebook.
Despite Diaz being more than half a pound over the 126-pound featherweight limit, the fight against Rojas moved forward and in an action-packed fight, Diaz emerged victorious. Diaz defeated Rojas by unanimous decision (115-113, 116-112, 117-111), but because of the WBA rules, Rojas did not lose the title despite losing the fight.
The fight started with Diaz starting to take control with flashy combinations that mostly landed on the heavy-handed Rojas. Though Diaz was the slightly more active fighter, Rojas’ punches dealt more damage and as the fight progressed, Rojas’ power was felt. As the fight got deeper into the late rounds, Diaz’s face started to show signs of damage, with some swelling being noticeable on parts of his face.
Halfway through the fight, Rojas’ power punches started to land more and more as Diaz started to tread back to the ropes and defend more. But once the fight reached the championship rounds, Diaz caught his second wind and went back to landing more of his power punch combinations. Diaz’s renewed energy at the end secured the win over Rojas.
Diaz looked more confident in the ring and better prepared to fight a pressure fighter compared to when Diaz fought WBC champion Gary Russell Jr. back in May. But although the win over Rojas puts him back into title contention, it may not be a featherweight title. After the fight, Diaz said he is seriously considering moving up in weight to 130 pounds in the hopes of challenging for a title.