Being a father has immensely impacted Jo Jo Diaz

Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz has skilled heavy drama in his workspace the final a number of months, together with shedding a world title belt on the scales and coping with managerial points.

Whereas Diaz is motivated to win a world title belt in a brand new weight division, the once-beaten fighter has one other motivation in life, which helps him get previous the current trials: being a father. It’s given him extra a brand new sense of route and inspiration.

Diaz will face Javier Fortuna tomorrow (Friday) night time on the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California.

The 12-round bout will precede the primary occasion bout between unbeaten gentle heavyweight contender Gilberto Ramirez and Sullivan Barrera. Each fights will stream stay on DAZN (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT).

Diaz (31-1-1, 15 knockout), who grew up in close by South El Monte, fought to a majority-decision draw in opposition to Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov in his final bout on February 13. Diaz was stripped of his IBF junior light-weight title the day earlier than the combat after weighing 133.5 kilos.

Rakhimov was the more-effective fighter early on, however Diaz received nearly all of the rounds in the course of the second half of the combat.

The 28-year-old took the combat early final month in opposition to Fortuna after authentic opponent, unbeaten Ryan Garcia, withdrew from the combat resulting from private points.

The Diaz-Fortuna scrap ought to be an motion combat between two boxer-punchers.

The WBC just lately ordered the combat to be for the interim world title belt.

Diaz believes he may be within the combine in opposition to the highest fighters within the division, ought to he defeat Fortuna.

“I by no means thought I’d be preventing at 135 kilos this early in my profession,” Diaz advised The Ring over the telephone on Tuesday. “I actually felt that I used to be at my greatest in my profession at 130 kilos, however I really feel that a lot stronger and sharper now as a light-weight. I’m assured I can get extra alternatives after defeating Fortuna, who’s a troublesome and harmful opponent. I imagine he’s extra of a one-style kind of fighter. I’m simply going to go in there and demolish him like I do the opposite fighters I’ve confronted.”

So, Diaz turned a father in December. Like most dad and mom on this digital age, Diaz has posted footage of his son on his social media, whether or not on the seaside, a park, or inside their dwelling.

Assuming parental duties may be overwhelming for some, however Diaz has embraced being a father. Even in the course of the fallout of getting been stripped of the IBF title and coping with ongoing managerial points, which he didn’t need to touch upon,  Diaz believes fatherhood has been the perfect factor to occur to him.

“Being a father is greater than what I’d have imagined,” stated Diaz, who has been promoted by Golden Boy since turning professional in December 2012.

“I look into his eyes and I discover my function in being the perfect I may be for him. I need to shield and information him at each alternative. There’s little issues that he does that may be a resemblance of each me and my fiancé. He’s seven months outdated, however I really feel a connection to him day by day since he was born.

He’s not completed; it’s clear that being a father has very a lot altered his POV. “My son motivates me day by day after I’m within the gymnasium,” Diaz stated. “I need to give him that basis the place he’s taken care of and he has the correct instruments and assets for no matter he needs to do for his future. Fatherhood has given me that gentle in my life, whilst I’ve handled my melancholy.”

Diaz is assured a win would open extra doorways for him at 135 kilos. There’s the potential of dealing with Ryan Garcia, WBC titleholder Devin Haney, or any of the opposite top-tier lightweights in boxing, politics however.

He understands he could have his fingers full in opposition to Fortuna, who’s ranked No. 6 by The Ring, however Diaz is assured the challenges he has confronted and overcome inside and out of doors the ring will give him the sting Friday and in future fights at 135 kilos.

“I’d to face the perfect within the light-weight division. It may very well be Ryan (Garcia), Haney, Gervonta Davis, (Ring Journal light-weight champion) Teofimo Lopez, (Vasiliy) Lomachenko, (Richard) Commey. It doesn’t matter who it’s. I simply need to combat the perfect. I’m simply pleased the place my life is now. I’m simply targeted on being the perfect father I may be.”


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has lined boxing in Southern California and overseas since 2000. Francisco additionally covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He may be reached by e mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

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