Featherweight contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. failed to make weight Friday, costing himself the opportunity to win a world title.
Diaz will still face secondary featherweight titlist Jesus Rojas on Saturday (Facebook Watch, 9 p.m. ET) at the Avalon Hollywood in Hollywood, California, in the main event of the first “Golden Boy Fight Night” card of the promotional company’s deal for at least five shows that will air live on Facebook Watch.
Rojas, making his first defense since being elevated from interim titlist, weighed 125.8 pounds, just inside the 126-pound featherweight limit. Diaz, however, was 126.6 pounds for what would have been his second consecutive shot at a world title.
On May 19, Diaz, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, lost a unanimous decision to featherweight world titleholder Gary Russell Jr., then got this unexpected shot at Rojas’ version of the title.
Diaz had vowed to learn from the mistakes he made against Russell, but now, even if he beats Rojas, he won’t get the belt. If Rojas loses, he will still keep the title, according to WBA rules.
“We dealt with it for a couple of hours. He tried to lose the weight. Just a mess,” Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told ESPN. “He’s at an age where his body’s grown. The kid has hardly any fat on him. For two hours he tried everything. He went to the steam room, he did some jump-rope. He just couldn’t shake it off. It’s never good when that happens. Period.”
For failing to make weight, Diaz (26-1, 14 KOs), 25, of South El Monte, California, was fined 20 percent ($10,000) of his $50,000 purse by the California State Athletic Commission. Half of the fine money will go to the commission and the other $5,000 will go to Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KOs), 31, of Puerto Rico, who will add that to his $60,000 purse.