Usyk and JoJo Diaz Impress on Hopkins-Smith Undercard

Photos: Ed Mulholland

By Kieran Mulvaney

In tonight's co-main event, Joseph “JoJo” Diaz had too much quality and class for a determined Horacio Garcia, as the Californian featherweight scored a unanimous points decision to run his record to 23-0 (13 KOs). Garcia showed immense energy and determination, constantly coming forward and looking to press Diaz against the ropes, and managing to land some crunching body shots when he did so; but Diaz was just so much faster, and his counterpunches landed more crisply and at a far higher percentage. According to CompuBox, whereas Garcia (30-2-1, 21 KOs) landed with just 16.6 percent of his total punches, Diaz found a home for 42.3 percent of his, and 52.5 percent of his power punches. 

For the purist, Diaz is a joy to watch with his accuracy and hand speed and the way in which he sits down on his punches; for the broader viewing public, he may prove something of an acquired taste because of his relative lack of punching power. Still, his fights are rarely if ever boring and with each win he moves himself closer to fighting for a featherweight title, which he surely will do in 2017.