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Making the move from prospect to contender, Joseph "Jojo" Diaz Jr. has been a steady performer who impresses every time he steps between the ropes.
One of the most talented members of the 2012 United States Olympic team, El Monte, California’s Joseph “Jojo” Diaz Jr. made his long awaited post-London debut against Vicente Alfaro on December 15, 2012 at the LA Sports Arena, winning via unanimous four round decision. For his local fans, it was a chance to see the talented and humble young man they’ve watched grow up in the ring over the years begin his journey to the top, and as far as boxing insiders are concerned, Diaz is a solid pick to one day wear a world championship belt around his waist. A longtime baseball fan, Diaz nonetheless gave up playing on the diamond to take up boxing at the age of 10 in order to learn how to defend himself. With his father coaching him every step of the way, Diaz fell in love with the sport and began wowing observers with his ability between the ropes. What followed was over 100 wins as an amateur that included two national championships, a 1-1 record with the Los Angeles Matadors in the World Series of Boxing league, and a berth on the 2012 Olympic team. In the London Games, Diaz decisioned Ukrainian Pavlo Ishchenko before losing a close 21-15 bout to Cuban world champ Lazaro Alvarez. And with that strong showing behind him, he was ready to pursue greatness in the pro game, beginning with his win over Alfaro. On February 2, 2013, Diaz won his second professional bout, earning his first knockout when he halted Jose Ruiz in two rounds, and victories over Alberto Cupido (W6), Eric Gotay (TKO3), Rigoberto Casillas (TKO3), Luis Cosme (KO1), Noel Mendoza (KO3), Carlos Rodriguez (TKO7) and Jiovany Fuentes (TKO5) followed in rapid succession. After defeating 49-fight veteran Luis Maldonado on April 26, 2014, Diaz decisioned 12-1-1 Ramiro Robles in his first 10-round bout, and he closed out last year in style with two blistering knockouts of Raul Hidalgo and Roberto Castaneda and a shutout decision over Jose Angel Beranza, setting up a 2015 he hopes will put him in the world title picture. This year certainly got off to a rousing start, as Diaz stopped Juan Luis Hernandez in just three rounds on March 6, setting up a May 9 showdown with Giovanni Delgado at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.