With seven full years since his last defeat, Tevin Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KOs) was reminded of that feeling as he lost his IBF Super Featherweight title at the hands of Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz (30-1, 15 KOs) at the Meridian at Island Gardens, in Miami Florida.
The pre-fight game plan was simple. Farmer needed to stay away from the constant pressure and power punching of Diaz with his boxing skills, while Diaz had the task of figuring out how to cut off the ring effectively to neutralize the boxing of Farmer.
Early on, both fighters came out aggressive. Farmer was getting the better of the exchanges but it didn’t seem like the right game plan for him if he wanted to walk away with his title at the end of the night.
It might have been early in the contest, but it was surprising that the action continued beyond the second round.
An accidental clash of heads left Diaz seemingly with one eye. As the blood streamed down his face, he came out blazing in the third. If the fight was going to be stopped early, Diaz was going to make sure that it was because he laid Farmer out as opposed to the cut on his eye lid.
With his injured eye ostensibly out of its socket, Diaz kept the pressure going as Farmer tried to box his way around his aggressive opponent. For whatever reason, Farmer just didn’t seem to have the extra energy that he has usually had in his most recent fights.
Maybe his ridiculous schedule of five fights in just under a year’s time, a record which marks him as the most active current world champion by far, had finally taken its toll on him.
Diaz finished the contest strong as Farmer limped to the finish line. In the end, the judges gave the fresher and more effective Diaz the nod on the scorecards.
116-112 and two scores of 115-113 gave Diaz the redemption he had been looking for since coming up short in first world title bid against Gary Russell Jr. back in 2018.
If you are already envisioning matchups with Diaz and any of the other top names in the division, you should just stop now. The next time Diaz enters through those ropes, he’ll be standing across the ring from a familiar foe.
“We definitely gonna exercise that immediate rematch clause,” said Farmer during his post-fight interview. “Hopefully we can do it again in April or May. We gotta run it back, but he put up a hell of fight.”
Diaz didn’t seem to have any issues at all with putting everything back on the line one more time against Farmer.
“I respect Tevin Farmer, he gave me this title shot,” said Diaz. “I know he’s gonna want a rematch and I’ll be more than happy to run it back.”
Final Grade for Jospeh Diaz: A
The overall performance of Joseph Diaz was great. He fought the perfect fight that he needed to in order to walk away with the title. But that isn’t the reason why he is getting an A here.
The sort of cut that Diaz fought through was almost unwatchable. As the contest progressed, you just couldn’t help but think to yourself, “when is his eye going to fall out?”
In short, Diaz is super tough and earned this title.
Gallery Photos by Lester Silva/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy