Diaz/Rakhimov draw, IBF belt remains vacant

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Photo: Tom Hogan-HoganPhotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Former IBF jr lightweight champion Joseph Diaz Jr. (31-1-1, 15 KOs) and IBF #1 Shavkat Rakhimov (15-0-1, 12 KOs) battled to a twelve round draw on Saturday night at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Diaz started strong. Rakhimov seemed in command midway, but ran out of gas down the stretch as Diaz took over. Scores were 115-113 Diaz, 114-114, 114-114. Diaz lost the title on the scale on Friday, so only Rakhimov was eligible to win the belt, which now remains vacant.

“I’m a little upset. I felt I had done enough to win the fight,” said Diaz. “It was a close fight. It wasn’t my best performance. I didn’t make weight. I lost the belt on the scales. I want to apologize to everyone. I want to apologize to all my fans. It was a mistake on my behalf. No excuses, but I’ll be back.

“Rakhimov threw a lot of combinations. But a lot of them landed on the gloves. I felt I threw more shots and landed more body punches. I thought I should have won the fight.”

“I did everything I was supposed to do,” said Shavkat Rakhimov. “Victory was on my side. I feel I won the fight. There were a few mistakes, and we need to work on it. I did everything that was possible. There were a few mistakes, but I will work on that. There is no perfect boxer, and I hope to gain more American fans.”

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  • top to bottom a strong night of boxing. * I still need to be able to go back to attending live shows [hopefully soon] If the Charlo brothers are now PPV worthy, Castano is worthy of a big payday as a title defense.

  • JoJo Diaz still suffers from the problem that he had when he fought Gary Russell, Jr. He covers up and waits till the opponent stops his attack before retaliating. With Russell, by the time he punched back, Russell had moved out of range and Diaz had to reset every time.

    His corner kept exhorting him to punch when Rakhimov flurried. He tried but didn’t do it often. He still waited too long while his opponent was letting his hands go. That never looks good to the judges. The difference between Rahkimov and Russell is that Rahkimov remained to get hit in return.

    I thought the draw verdict was fair. Rakhimov came on in the middle rounds while Diaz started strong, faltered in the middle rounds, then came on strongly at the end. Rakhimov was the more active fighter throughout while Diaz was the harder and more accurate puncher.

    Lomachenko beat Russell by punching with him and eventually gained the upper hand. That doesn’t seem to be in Diaz’s nature. Until he does something to change it, he will continue to be in jeopardy of losing the decision when he faces high level fighters.

    • Sir, you are right! Diaz does wait way too long to follow up and it does allow the other opponent to laterally or take one step back and be hit less. Excellent point.

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