Junior lightweight contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz promises the best is yet to come for the 26-year-old Southern California native as he sets his sights on appearing on the Canelo Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs undercard on May 4 in Las Vegas. Now all he needs is an opponent and he has targeted Scott Quigg as the perfect foe for the high profile card on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
“I got the call from Golden Boy Promotions and my manager about possibly fighting on the Canelo undercard and I am ready to go,” Diaz said. “I wanted to fight Andrew Cancio for his title but he has a rematch clause against Alberto Machado so the next best opponent for me would definitely be Scott Quigg. My time is now and since this fight would be on DAZN it’s so important we get an opponent like Quigg to help me get closer to a world title fight.”
Diaz, who is rated number 7 by The RING at 130 pounds, is coming off a dominant performance Charles Huerta last month in his first appearance at junior lightweight following a grueling bout with Jesus Rojas where he struggled to make the 126-pound weight limit and ultimately came in .6 pounds over. Quigg had his own struggle making weight when he challenged Oscar Valdez for the WBO featherweight last year and tipped the scale at nearly three pounds over the 126 limit.
“I can relate to what he went through that day,” Diaz said. “I know what it’s like when the body has no more water left to lose and you get dehydrated. I lived it. I felt it. It’s not like we don’t work hard as fighters but there’s little mistakes we make, and it becomes difficult to lose any more weight without causing major damage to the body.”
Diaz (28-1, 14 Knockouts) believes a win over Quigg will propel him into the mix with all of the 130-pound champions in the division.
“He hasn’t had a big fight at 130 pounds and neither have I,” Diaz explains. “A fight against Quigg would be meaningful and I told my team to please try to make it happen. This is the best I have felt in a long time and I’m anxious to prove I can beat the elite fighters at 130 pounds.”
Diaz believes he has matured and improved since suffering his first lone professional loss against Gary Russell Jr. last May.
“It was a great learning experience,” Diaz recalls. “I only had one game plan going into that fight and one strategy. I didn’t get a chance to use any of my angles or combinations. I thought I would tire him out down the stretch but then the referee didn’t let me work on the inside. I believe everything happens for a reason and even if I did win the title, I wouldn’t have been able to defend it because making 126 pounds was just no longer possible and my health is more important.”
At 130 pounds Diaz is confident the knockouts will come more frequently because he is finally able to focus on sharping his skills and timing rather than be worried about cutting the last few pounds.
“I would get to 132 pounds and then losing the last six pounds was very difficult for me,” Diaz said. “My muscles don’t get a chance to re-energize and I came into the fight with Rojas at 70%. I can finally showcase my skills at my ideal weight and I am stronger and faster now.”
Quigg, (35-2-2, 26 KOs) is now one fight removed from his slugfest against Valdez and while he doesn’t have an opponent lined up, Diaz is hopeful both sides can come together to make this bout possible. Diaz ha taken to social media to call Quigg out hoping to lure the British fighter to Vegas.
“I think I will do very well against Quigg if I get the opportunity,” Diaz said. “He’s very slow and I can take advantage of that. He is also one dimensional. He likes to apply pressure and tries to land one vicious shot but my defense is good. I think my defense is even better than Oscar Valdez’ and I will land my own vicious blows to make it an action packed fight.”
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