JoJo Diaz and Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov fight to draw, title still vacant.
A year after achieving his lifelong dream of winning a world championship, JoJo Diaz lost his hard-earned title on the scales. A major no-no. Lack of discipline.
Saturday night at Fantasy Springs Casio in Indio, Ca, Diaz and Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, who, unlike Diaz, could have become the new champion wih a victory, battled to a 12 round majority draw.
Scores were 115-113 Diaz, and 114-114 twice.
Maxboxing had Diaz winning the bout 115-113.
In the opening stanza, Diaz, a slight favorite on fight day, moved and fired jabs from the southpaw stance. Rakhimov, also a southpaw, went to the body. Diaz connected with a solid left in the last seconds of the round. Diaz stabbed Rakhimov with jabs in round two. He also connected with a couple of solid combinations. Another big left rocked Rakhimov.
Rakhimov upped the ante in round three. He peppered Diaz with a few shots. Diaz fought back. His nose started bleeding halfway thru the stanza. Diaz connected with another one-two. Rakhimov fired back. In rounds four and five, Rakhimov fired more blows. Diaz was waiting, but not throwing enough. When he did, he landed. A rally at the end of the round might have notched it for Diaz.
Diaz was told to work the body in round six. He did but not enough. Rakhimov was outworking him. Diaz bounced back and fired combinations in round seven. Rakhimov landed a good shot that might have bothered Diaz. The former champion connected with two lefts in the last 10 seconds of the round. Diaz came out jabbing in round eight. Rakhimov let his hands go. He was doing exactly what trainer Freddie Roach was telling him. Diaz clocked him a hard left hand. Both fighters landed good shots at the bell.
Rakhimov did well in the opening seconds of round nine. Diaz found some rhythm, clipping Rakhimov with jabs and hooks. The round appeared to be his. Diaz tried to continue punching more in round 10. Rakhimov moved his hands. Diaz clubbed him with blows. Rakhimov popped home a good jab. In round 11, both fighters let their hands go. The action was back and forth. Diaz connected with a long left. Rakhimov fired back. Diaz worked up and down. He also connected with a right that seemed to buzz Rakhimov.
The fight was very close heading into the 12th and final round. Rakhimov got off first, but Diaz tagged him with shots. He landed the heavier shots consistently in the last three rounds.
“I thought I did enough to win the fight, but it was a close fight,” said Diaz. “It is what it is.”