Diaz’s 12-round southpaw showdown with Rakhimov ends in a draw

Previous champ Joseph Diaz combated to a bulk draw with Shavkatdzhov Rakhimov in an IBF junior light-weight battle Saturday in the California desert.

American Diaz was removed of his title Friday since he weighed more than 3 pounds over the 130-pound limitation at the weigh-in, leaving Rakhimov with the only opportunity to declare the title which now sits uninhabited.

The 2 southpaws placed on an amusing slugfest with Diaz quiting some rounds in the middle prior to turning it on in the last round to restore some pride.

One judge scored it 115-113 for Diaz while the other 2 had it 114-114 in the 12-round face-off inside the quarantine bubble at the Dream Springs Gambling Establishment in Indio.

“It wasn’t my best performance,” stated Diaz. “I didn’t make weight and vacated my title. It was a mistake on my behalf.”

Diaz, 28, went on to state that the Covid-19 limitations throughout the last week of preparations left him having a hard time to train in his hotel space rather of inside a fitness center.

“I couldn’t make weight like I used to. They don’t have no gym here and I had to work out in my room,” he stated.

Diaz’s record transfers to 31-1-1 with 15 knockouts, while Rakhimov stays unbeaten at 15-0-1 with 12 KOs.

Despite The Fact That it was a draw, Tajikistan’s Rakhimov came within a hair of winning his very first title in his American launching. The 26-year-old three-time nationwide champ stated he hopes this efficiency gets him more title battles on United States soil.

“I did everything I was supposed to do. I think I won the fight,” he stated. “I made a few mistakes. But I am going to work hard.”

Diaz landed the much better punches in the early rounds however Rakhimov was the very first to draw blood, striking his challenger with a punch in the 3rd round that led to blood dripping from the previous champ’s nose.

The speed got at the end of the 4th round, when both fighters exchanged head shots at the bell.

Rakhimov began to look more comfy after that as more power punches were landed by both guys in the 5th round.

In the 11th Rakimov struck Diaz with 2 left uppercuts as counter to Diaz’s right-hand man. Fitness instructor Freddie Roach informed Rakhimov in the corner in between the 11th and 12th rounds that if he let his hands enter the last round he would win the battle.

However the more skilled Diaz had other strategies, timing his punches completely in a program of force that impressed the judges enough for among the 3 to provide him the win on points.

“It was a close fight,” stated Diaz. “I had him fighting a whole different game plan. I thought I landed more punches and broke him down.”

The draw ended Diaz’s 5 battle winning streak and unlocked for a possible rematch in between the 2 with the uninhabited title up for grabs.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.