Joseph Diaz Jr. takes another positive step toward his first major title shot

Southpaw Joseph Diaz Jr., right, lands a right hook to the head of Andrew Cancio during their fight Saturday in Arlington, Texas/Photo courtesy of Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions


Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte figures to be fighting for his first major title sometime next year, providing he keeps winning. That makes every fight for Diaz vital. A slip, and his plans are disrupted.

Diaz – ranked as high as No. 3 in the world – took another step forward this past Saturday when he stopped Andrew Cancio of Blythe in the ninth round of their featherweight bout slated for 10 rounds. They tangled underneath the junior middleweight title fight between Liam Smith of England and Canelo Alvarez of Mexico; Alvarez won via 9th-round knockout at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“This is a great victory, it will open up so many doors for me moving forward,” said the 23-year-old Diaz, who is 22-0 with 13 knockouts. “I felt very comfortable. I was the better puncher, I was faster and was able to cut the ring more efficiently. I knew that Cancio was going to be a strong guy, I knew he was going to be tough and try to push me around, so I had to be the better fighter. I was able to display my defense and my power.”
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