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.”