— GoldenBoyPromotions (@GoldenBoyBoxing) September 30, 2014
On Monday, September 29, 2014, Golden Boy Promotions held another Golden Boy Live card on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes.
The televised triple-header, held at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, TX, featured Ricardo Alvarez vs. John Michael Johnson, Fidel Maldonado Jr. vs. Nelson Lara, and was headlined by Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr. vs. Raul Hidalgo.
It was the first time the young prospect Diaz (12-0, 8 KOs) had been tabbed to headline a card and it certainly showed Golden Boy’s confidence in the 2012 Olympian.
Diaz started his first feature fight—a 10-round bout—on the right foot as half way through the first round he knocked Hidalgo down with a sweeping right hook to the head.
Hidalgo (21-12, 16 KOs), who in the fighter meetings stated that he didn’t believe Diaz could hurt him, seemed to be caught a bit off balance by the punch, but it was rightfully ruled a knockdown.
Hidalgo composed himself well and finished the round with no ill effects from the knockdown.
Round 2 was entertaining as Hidalgo landed some good punches, but it was Diaz who threw the better combinations, especially hooks and uppercuts which seemingly began wearing his opponent down.
Similar to Fidel Maldonado in the previous fight, Diaz had his way with his opponent as long as he maintained the proper distance. It was when he stayed in close and traded with Hidalgo that he ate some unnecessary leather—though it was a lot less than Maldonado against Nelson Lara.
Diaz mixed up his offensive attack well in Round’s 3 and 4 and showed off some quick reflexes as he showed his ability to catch and shoot shots numerous times.
Diaz finished Round 4 landing nearly 10 unanswered punches as it seemed like the end was near for Hidalgo.
As Golden Boy Live commentator and former world champion Paulie Malignaggi stated, by Round 5 it looked like Diaz had convinced Hidalgo that he could not win the fight.
Hidalgo had expressed frustration to his corner prior to coming out for the fifth, saying that he was getting tired.
Jo Jo on the other hand started Round 6 looking as fresh as he did in Round 1, throwing murderous combinations as a bloody Hidalgo retreated.
While Hidalgo did throw a few shots here-and-there, but nothing landed cleanly and he was met with hard punches by Diaz in return.
Hidalgo thought it would be a good idea to try and turn southpaw towards the end of Round 6 but instead of gaining an edge, he took multiple clean shots to the head before the bell.
In Round 7, the showcase was in full swing for Diaz as he landed combinations with ease before dropping Hidalgo three times and ending the fight in impressive TKO fashion.
Diaz showed the pace and patience of a veteran champion and certainly is a prospect to watch.
Diaz: Landed 192 of 410 of total punches – 47%
Hidalgo: Landed 78 of 254 of total punches – 31%
Header photo by Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos