Hollywood Ca.– Over 56 thousand boxing fans joined the first Golden Boy Promotions Facebook Fight Night as Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. took a difficult challenge against Puerto Rican WBA World Featherweight Champion Jesus Rojas. Though Diaz Jr. won the battle by unanimous decision, he was unable to acquire the WBA featherweight title due to missing the featherweight limit at the weigh-ins on Friday afternoon.
Diaz (26-1, 14 KOs) initiated the fight being the busier fighter controlling Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KOs) efficiently with his jab. In the second round, Diaz pummeled Rojas against the ropes and continued to dominate, walking the Puerto Rican backward while eating heavy shots. Though Diaz seemed to have won the round, Rojas managed to cause him a bloody nose with a massive uppercut by the end of the round.
In the third round, Rojas punched Diaz’s mouthpiece out of his mouth, clearly coming back to show he was very much a live dog in the fight. Rojas and Diaz engaged in a toe-to-toe battle in the middle of the ring making the rounds questionable to score.
Rojas seemed to have slightly hurt Diaz in the middle rounds, but not as hurt as all the boxing fans watching on Facebook Live as the stream completely died mid-fight. The Facebook viewers dropped from nearly 60 thousand to eight thousand as the comment section flooded with hateful comments. Fans also took to Twitter to express their feelings of frustration towards Golden Boy Promotions’ failed stream.
The championship rounds consisted on heavy exchanges as Rojas came forward and Diaz made openings to counter effectively. In the final rounds, both fighters left sweat and blood in the middle of the ring, clearly fatigued but still coming forward. Both fighters embraced in a hug after the twelve round, displaying outstanding sportsmanship.
Photo credit: Supreme Boxing
After 12 tremendous action-packed rounds, all three judges had the fight in favor of Diaz 17-111, 116-112, and 115-113. Though Rojas officially lost the fight, he gets to retain his title and remain a champion because of Diaz being over the weight limit on the official weigh-in the day before.
“I’m very very sorry to all my fans for not making weight,” Diaz apologized after the fight. “I’m sorry to my promoter Oscar de la Hoya. It was just one little mistake that we just didn’t make the weight, next time I’m gonna come back, I’m gonna make the weight, If not, I am a big 126 pounder, so I might just move up.”
In the co-main event of the evening, super lightweight undefeated contenders Damon Allen and Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro put their undefeated records on the line to give the fans their money’s worth in a back-and-forth battle that stole the night.
After seven toe-to-toe rounds, the pride of East L.A “Thunder” Navarro defeated Allen in minute 1:33 by way of knockout.
Navarro (15-o, 8 KOs) initiated the action early, aggressively coming forward. as Allen (15-1-1, 5 KOs) threw thunderous shots of his own. Allen delivered a couple of low blows in the first two rounds and received a warning from the referee. By the third round, Allen landed yet another low blow, causing him to have a point deducted this time around.
The point deducted seemed to encourage Allen to throw more punches as he launched forward landing heavy shots on Navarro. Trainer Robert Garcia urged Navarro to keep his hands up and not get overconfident with his punches.
In the fourth round, Navarro seemed to have hurt Allen as he smothered him against the ropes, but Allen used his head movement to avoid some of the punches coming back strong in the second half of the round. Navarro hurt Allen once again in the fifth round landing a massive punch that wobbled Allen’s legs. Navarro seemed to tire out in the final seconds, failing to finish his tough opponent.
The sixth round ended in a colossal bang as Navarro landed a tremendous punch right after the bell that sent Allen to the canvas and wobbled his legs once again. Because the punched landed shortly after the bell, it didn’t count as a 10-8 round.
Photo credit: GoldenBoy Promotions (twitter)
“Thunder” Navarro finally scored a spectactacular knockout in the following round, landing vicious left and right hooks as the referee intrervened to stop the fight. Navarro remains undefeated after 15 fights, while Allen took the first loss of his career in this unforgettable war.
“Once I seen him wobble and hit him hard with my punch, I knew he was done for.” Navarro said post-fight. “I’m gonna rest for a little bit and get this cut healed, talk to my manager and my dad and see what Golden Boy has for me.”
Local fan-favorite Ferdinand “Lucky Boy” Kerobyan delivered a dominant performance against Jose “Rated R” Rivera improving his undefeated record to 10 wins.
Kerobyan (10-0, 5 KOs) set the pace early unleashing fantastic combinations both to the head and body of Rivera (6-4, 4 KOs) who took the punches rarely countering. The Conneticut native seemed hessitant to throw punches and continued to take punishment against the ropes.
“Rated R” is fighting more like PG-13,” one of the Golden Boy commentators said.
Rivera spent every round going backward throwing minimal punches as Korobyan chased after him with brutal shots trying to close the show. “Lucky Boy” showed terrific conditioning by going the six rounds controlling his opponent and winning a unanimous decision by 60-54 in all three judges score cards.
“I know a lot of Mexican good fighters have strong chins,” Kerobyan said. “I tried to break him down on the body cus I know no matter how strong you are, when the body gets you, it gets you.”
In the T.V. opening bout, Irish welterweight prospect Aaron “the Silencer” McKenna scored a unanimous decision against Sinaloa’s Rolando Mendivil in a toe-to-toe action-packed battle.
Both fighters traded leather as soon as the starting bell rang, catching each other with grueling punches in the center of the ring. In the second round, McKenna ( 5-0, 3 KOs) landed vicious uppercuts as he cornered Mendivil (10-5, 3 KOs) against the ropes. The Mexican contender proved to have a strong chin failing to go down from all the punishment.
McKenna dropped his mouth-piece in the third round but continued to dominate his opponent without picking it back up. Mendivil came forward with crisp combinations of his own, but McKenna continued to pummel him with efficient punches that won him every round. Though the Irish prospect didn’t score the knockout, he looked impressive capturing another win to his record winning 40-36 in all three judge’s scorecard.
“I was trying to go for the knockout,” said the Irish prospect. “I landed some solid right hands and he took them well. It was a great fight for me, four rounds to have under my belt, and it was great experience.”
Photo credit: Supreme Boxing