Ryan Garcia and Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz have nodded to square off against each other in a lightweight bout which is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on 27th November, as reported by Mike Coppinger of ESPN. The fight will likely be a WBC interim lightweight championship fight between the titleholder Diaz and the former champion Garcia, who was stripped off of the title due to inactivity.
I missed the ring, I missed sparring: Ryan Garcia excited to return to boxing against Diaz
Ryan Garcia clinched WBC’s interim lightweight championship against Luke Campbell on 2nd January. However, due to inactivity away from the ring during his struggle with mental health, ‘King Ryan’ was stripped off of his interim status in May and the vacant belt was contested between Javier Fortuna and Joseph Diaz, with the latter becoming the new interim champion on 9th July.
“Since he came out and beat Fortuna I took the opportunity to beat JoJo,” Garcia addressed on Diaz winning the interim belt, “now it ends questions if I was scared to fight Fortuna.”
“I’m excited to be back; I’m ready to continue my momentum where I left off. I missed the sport of boxing. I missed the ring. I missed sparring,” the 23-year-old added.
Meanwhile, WBC’s president Mauricio Sulaiman recently revealed that the winner between Garcia and Diaz must become mandatory for the sanctioning body’s lightweight world champion, Devin Haney.
In case the winner of Garcia vs Diaz refuse to fight Haney, the WBC will be stripping off the fighter’s interim status, Sulaiman added.
“If the guy does not want to fight Haney, then the interim title will be vacant. “But now there’s only one line: if Jojo Diaz and Garcia fight, the winner is a mandatory for the champion. If either one of the winners does not accept to unify, then we will just have a world champion in Haney,” said the WBC prez. [H/T DAZN]
- Ryan Garcia and JoJo Diaz agree to fight on 27th November in Los Angeles
- Diaz, the current WBC interim light champion will face the former champion Garcia
- The winner must face WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney