Oscar Duarte (27-2-1, 22 KOs) looked powerful, defeating Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz Jr. (33-6-1, 15 KOs) by a ninth-round knockout on Saturday night at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California.

(Photo credit: Golden Boy / Cris Esqueda)

Diaz, 31, didn’t have the pop in his punches to slow down the momentum of Duarte, as he was an unstoppable force with the way he stalked him around the ring. Earlier on, JoJo Diaz used movement to avoid taking shots from Duarte in the first four rounds.

Beginning in the fifth, Diaz’s movement slowed down, and he started taking heavy shots from Duarte against the ropes. Shelling up against the ropes and taking bad punishment from Duarte was a mistake for Diaz.

Duarte’s Relentless Pressure

In the ninth round, Diaz retreated to the ropes for a last stand, and shelled unmercibly by Duarte, causing the referee to step in and stop the massacre. The time of the stoppage was at 2:32 of round 9.

Diaz says he’ll fight on, but it’s hard to see a future for him at this point, with him losing five out of his last six fights. It would be sad to see JoJo Diaz dropped from fighting on the main card of off-TV contests against prospects or journeymen.

The fights JoJo Diaz has consistently lost since 2021 show that he’s not cut out for the weight classes he’s been competing in. He’s not on the level to beat top-tier fighters at this stage of his career, at least not in the 135- or 140-lb divisions.

Duarte’s Rise

The 28-year-old Duarte’s win shows his improvement since his loss to Ryan Garcia last December, and it also explains why he gave him so many problems. Duarte has a lot of power, throws tons of punches, and exerts unrelenting pressure.

Duarte is an entertainer-type fighter who will do well against many of the fighters at 140 if he stays in that weight class. However, many fighters will give him trouble with their power and the fact that he’s easy to hit.

If Golden Boy matches Duarte carefully, he can win many fights and make good money. Fighters like him are in demand in the sport, and his power makes him fun to watch.


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