Whether or not a contemporary begin or a wholly new path, Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz is in determined want of a makeover.
The previous IBF junior light-weight titlist is hopeful of a profession turnaround starting with this weekend’s showdown with fringe contender Mercito Gesta. Their bout was upgraded to fundamental occasion standing after authentic headliner Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez (44-1, 30KOs) was grossly above the contracted weight for his finally canceled mild heavyweight conflict versus Gabriel Rosado.
It was the very best information that Diaz has acquired in a while, though some creativity was required for his bout to proceed.

The bout was initially introduced as a light-weight contest however modified to a junior welterweight affair to accommodate his personal struggles as the size, the place he weighed a career-heaviest 139.4 kilos—fittingly following a camp spent with Ramirez out of Brickhouse Boxing Gymnasium.
The contract adjustment was agreed to by Gesta, who was 137.2 kilos. It helped pave the best way for what Diaz hopes is the beginning of a much-needed redemption tour following back-to-back defeats and mounting authorized points exterior the ring.
“This camp went very well,” Diaz said throughout Thursday’s pre-fight press convention. “I went again and mirrored on what I’ve to (enhance). I employed a brand new staff. I obtained an amazing staff now. I really feel actually snug, I’ve been coaching very onerous.”
The proof of his preparation might be revealed on Saturday, when he and Gesta high a DAZN present from The Water Pyramid on the campus of Lengthy Seaside State College in Lengthy Seaside, California.
Diaz (32-3-1, 15KOs) enters the ring roughly 5 months after a lopsided ten-round defeat to red-hot light-weight contender William Zepeda (27-0, 23KOs) final October 29 at Pechanga Enviornment in San Diego, California. It marked the second straight defeat for Diaz, who was aggressive in an in the end failed December 2021 WBC light-weight title bid versus Devin Haney—who has since absolutely unified the light-weight division. 

All informed, it has been a tough patch for Diaz for the reason that pandemic.
The worldwide well being scare was instantly preceded by a career-best win turned in by the South El Monte, California-bred southpaw, who dethroned IBF junior light-weight titlist Tevin Farmer in January 2020. Diaz—who represented the U.S. within the 2012 London Olympics—misplaced the belt on the scales after weighing greater than three kilos above the junior light-weight restrict in an eventual twelve-round draw with Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, who has since claimed the belt.
Diaz bounced again with a twelve-round resolution over Javier Fortuna in July 2021, a combat he accepted on quick discover after Ryan Garcia (23-0, 19KOs) withdrew to as an alternative deal with his psychological well being. It stays the final win posted by Diaz, who was on account of face Garcia later that 12 months, just for the unbeaten light-weight contender to withdraw after struggling a hand and wrist harm which required surgical procedure. Diaz as an alternative confronted and misplaced to Haney, adopted by the extra lopsided defeat to Zepeda which has left his profession in a harmful place—therefore the change in his coaching camp.
“It was simply one thing new,” insisted Diaz. “While you’re doing this for thus lengthy, typically you (lose) that starvation. It’s such as you’re driving in impartial. I wished to spice issues up. I wished individuals which are going to push me to the bounds. That’s what I’ve now. I’m able to go and placed on an awesome present.”
He might want to try this, at the least for the sake of a profession revival—and that’s simply contained in the ring.

Exterior the ring, the boxer has appeared within the headlines for all of the mistaken causes.
Diaz was arrested on February 27 in Claremont, a Los Angeles suburb and launched later that night after a $15,000 bail was posted on his behalf in accordance with L.A. County inmate information.
BoxingScene.com was unsuccessful in acquiring a police report, for the reason that matter isn’t disclosable to the general public per Gov. Code § 7923.600- 7923.625 on account of it nonetheless being underneath investigation. Nevertheless, it was confirmed by Lt. Robert Ewing, supervisor for Claremont Police Division Help Companies, that Diaz “was arrested on February 27, 2023 for Driving Beneath the Affect, Baby Abuse, and Driving with a Suspended License.
“He was delivered to the Claremont Police Division Jail, booked for the above-listed costs, and later launched with a quotation to seem within the Pomona Superior Court docket on June 27, 2023.”
The incident was beforehand reported by TMZ Sports activities (and aggregated by different shops) as a toddler neglect case, a usually broad reference. There was no indication of bodily abuse, as falsely advised by some shops and the deep-rooted cynics throughout the sport.  

That stated, the incident comes because the 30-year-old southpaw can also be the defendant in an ongoing civil case in opposition to a Jane Doe filed final April 7 with the U.S. District Court docket for the Central District of California.
Diaz was accused of making an attempt to entice or coerce a minor into participating in sexual acts by way of use of mail or any facility of interstate or overseas commerce, in accordance with the criticism. The alleged sufferer—recognized solely as Jane Doe—claims to have acquired an unsolicited, express image of Diaz by way of social media app SnapChat that featured uncovered genitalia by the boxer. The alleged sufferer was simply 17 on the time of the September 2020 incident.
The matter was then delivered to the eye of the plaintiff’s father, who in flip contacted Diaz’s father to tell of the incident in query. In accordance with the criticism, Diaz’s father confirmed that the boxer did in reality ship the picture, although by mistake in citing extreme consuming as the reason for the mishap.
The matter was delivered to Los Angeles Police Division (LAPD) in search of legal costs greater than a 12 months later.
A police report was filed “on or about September 20, 2021,” with a detective assigned to the case contacting the plaintiff’s father greater than two months later “on or about November 30, 2021. Through the dialog, it was defined {that a} separate interview with Diaz revealed that the boxer claimed that “his girlfriend accessed his Snapchat account and despatched the {photograph} to plaintiff.”

The investigation concluded quickly thereafter with out costs filed.
The matter didn’t sit effectively with the unidentified plaintiff, who obtained proof in pursuit of justice by way of a civil courtroom. The criticism was filed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2255(b) on the idea that the alleged incident falls throughout the statute of limitations since it’s “inside 10 years of the violation and harm, and inside 10 years of Plaintiff turning 18 years of age.”
Court docket information point out that Diaz has missed a number of hearings alongside a string of failed efforts by the courtroom and the plaintiff’s authorized staff to submit authorized notifications to the boxer through bodily mail. The plaintiff filed a Movement for Default Judgment final October, which the courtroom agreed in a December 1 ruling to permit the matter to be heard and determined throughout the subsequent scheduled listening to on April 13.  
Diaz has completed his greatest to hold tunnel imaginative and prescient, significantly by way of combat week as a 3rd straight loss will undoubtedly finish his days as a relative participant. Gesta (33-3-3, 17KOs) isn’t too far behind, though he was in a position to breathe new life into his profession in his most up-to-date begin. The Filipino southpaw ended a 29-month layoff—and two-fight winless skid—with a ten-round resolution over Joel Diaz Jr. (no relation to JoJo) final April 21 in Indio, California.
Gesta was tabbed to face Garcia earlier this 12 months. Nevertheless, the unbeaten boxer determined in opposition to the interim combat and most popular to go straight into his now-scheduled April 22 superfight versus Gervonta Davis (28-0, 26KOs).

On the very least, Gesta is hungry to choose off an enormous title, which ends up in Saturday’s makeshift fundamental occasion.
It’s now as much as Diaz to place apart all out-of-ring distractions and former in-ring setbacks, to keep away from reaching steppingstone standing.
:Mercito is a troublesome competitor and an skilled veteran,” acknowledged Diaz. “After I stroll him down and get previous him, it’s going to open numerous doorways for me.
“I’m very assured on this combat. I’m going to be explosive and aggressive. It’s going to be an action-packed combat.”
It’s maybe the one place the place Diaz can nonetheless management his personal future.

Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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