Round after round, both fighters drilled each other with punches from all angles. Joseph Diaz Jr. (27-1, 14 KOs) would land a flurry of punches, but Jesus Rojas (26-2-2, 19 KOs) continued to come forward and land big shots of his own.
After an arduously severe 12 rounds, Diaz held on to defeat Rojas by unanimous decision in a slugfest Saturday night in the main event of Golden Boy Fight Night at the Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles, California. Diaz bounced back from his first career loss with scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.
The action-packed fight was much closer than the 117-111 score. Both fighters had their moments, landing combinations and power shots. Rojas would stalk Diaz while the southpaw from El Monte would find his spots to counter.
“I suffered my first loss in my last fight and I told everyone I would come back stronger than ever, and I did,” said Diaz. “We had a solid performance. Rojas came to bang. He had a solid punch.”
“I’m very, very sorry to all my fans and to my promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, for not making weight,” said Diaz. Next time I’ll make the weight.”
Diaz landed a hard uppercut which sent Rojas’ mouthpiece flying out of his mouth in the third round. Rojas hit Diaz some some powerful straight rights and by the end of the fourth round, Diaz was bleeding from his nose.
Both fighters traded blows from close range and showed they were not afraid to exchange in the middle of the ring. There were many close rounds but Diaz was busier with flurries and combinations. Diaz landed 237 of 771 punches while Rojas landed 202 of 724 according to CompuBox.
Rojas said the judges are the ones who make the call. One can see it one way, while another sees it another way, he added.
“Diaz came to fight,” said Rojas. “We gave a fight that the people deserved. I feel I was more active. He was tired and I was able to connect more punches. The judges make the call. I still feel I’m one of the top 126-pounders in the world.”
In the end, both fighters put on an entertaining fight. Diaz was bloodied and had swelling around his eyes but was happy to put on a show for the fans.
“I feel good,” said Diaz. “Hats off to Jesus Rojas. It was a fight for the fans. We’re proud of what we did.”
Photos by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions