• Miguel Maravilla

Joseph Diaz JR. and Shavka Rakhimov Draw

Photos - Tom Hogan-HoganPhotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Former IBF super featherweight champion Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte and Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov fought to a draw Saturday night at the Fantasy Springs in Indio, California headlining on DAZN. Diaz lost his title at the scale as the title was in play of Rakhimov. A very busy early rounds for Diaz as he came out swinging landing a hard left in round two. Diaz began to bleed from the nose but continued to mix it up with Rakhimov in the third. The Russian closed in on Diaz as he applied pressure and landed solid shots.

Past the halfway point in the the sixth, Diaz and Rakhimov had some good exchanges. However in the seventh, Diaz appeared to be getting tired. Rakhimov began to have his way as he connected with a vicious left hand that staggered Diaz. The fight appeared to be even as Rakhimov and Diaz continued to exchange.

Late in the fight in the ninth round, Diaz picked up the pace but Rakhimov continued to bring the pressure. In the championship rounds, Diaz stood in the pocket against the wild swinging Rakhimov countering him with effective shots. The final round saw, Diaz close well but Rakhimov proved to be a tough test in going the distance.

The judges scored the bout 115-113, 114-114, 114-114 as the bout was declared a majority decision draw. The IBF super featherweight title remains vacant after Diaz failed to make the 130 pound limit and was stripped putting the title in play for Rakhimov. The question is now, where will Diaz go from here after this fight.

Argentina’s Brian Castano (17-0-1, 12 KOs) was relentless in defeating Patrick Texeira (31-2, 22 KOs) of Brazil in winnning the WBO junior middleweight title in the co-feature bout. The Argentinian Castano was the aggressor in the early rounds, Texeira boxed and kept his distance throughout the fight. Texeira continued to box but Castano chopped him down late in the fight. Continuing to stay on the top of Texeira, the Argentinian did not let the Brazilian any room, landing hard shots fighting relentlessly heading to the championship rounds. Castanon finished strong as he had Texeira ready to go but the champ held on in going the distance.

Scores 120-108, 119-109, 117-111 as Castano becomes the new junior middleweight champion.

Shane Mosley Jr. (17-3, 10 KOs) of Pomona, Calif. defeated Cristian Olivas (19-8, 16 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico via stoppage at the end of the fifth round.

Uzbekistan's Bektemir “Bully” Melikuziev (7-0, 6 KOs) scored a third-round knockout against Morgan Fitch (19-4-1, 8 KOs) of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Santa Ana's Ronnie Rios (33-3, 16 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Colombian Oscar Negrete (19-3-2, 7 KOs) in going ten rounds. It was a back and forth tactical fight the first half of the fight. Rios was the superior of the two as Negrete held his own in going the distance.

Armenian contender Azat “Craz A” Hovhannisyan (19-3, 16 KOs) scored an eighth-round technical knockout victory against Enrique Bernache (24-12, 12 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico in a schedule 10-round featherweight clash. Hovhannisyan had his way the entire fight until the stoppage.

Featherweight prospect Victor Morales Jr. (14-0, 7 KOs) of Vancouver, Washington won a unanimous decision victory against Rodrigo Guerrero (26-9-2, 16 KOs) of Mexico, City. Morales dominated in going the distance eight rounds all three judges scored the bout 80-72.

Making his pro debut super lightweight Dalis Kaleiopu (1-0, 1 KO) of Waianae, Hawaii made a successful pro debut by defeating Eduardo Sanchez (2-3) of Corcoran, Calif. Kaleiopu stopped Sanchez at :38 of the third round.

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