The fight between American Joseph Diaz and Shavkatdzhov Rakhimov of Tajikistan for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior lightweight title ended Saturday in California in a majority draw.
Diaz was left without a title on Friday because he weighed more than three pounds over the 130-pound limit at the weigh-in, leaving Rakhimov with a chance to claim the title, which will now be vacated.
The two lefties staged a fight in which Diaz gave up a few rounds in the middle, before bouncing back in the final round to save his pride.
One of the judges gave the victory to Diaz 115-113, while the other two determined 114-114.
The 12-round showdown was held at Indio’s Fantasy Springs Casino.
Díaz, 28, was preparing to defend for the first time the 130-pound (59kg) belt that he snatched in January 2020 from his compatriot Tevin Farmer by unanimous decision.
However, the Californian fighter lost the crown at Friday’s weigh-in by exceeding the allowable limit of 133.6 pounds, while Rakhimov scored 129.8.
“It wasn’t my best performance,” Diaz said. «I did not make the weight and I vacated my title. It was a mistake on my part.
Diaz explained that the COVID-19 restrictions during the last week of preparations forced him to train in his hotel room instead of inside a gym.
Diaz has a record of 31 wins (15 knockouts) and 1 loss, while Rakhimov remains undefeated with 15-0-1 and 12 knockouts. AFP (HN)