Jojo Diaz Wins Battle of Former Olympians, Cancio Wins Too

INDIO, CALIF.-Jojo Diaz captured the NABF featherweight title with a blistering attack and quick knockout of Mexico’s Hugo Partida on Friday night.

Diaz never gave him a chance.

The former U.S. Olympian Diaz (19-0, 11 Kos) showed the former Mexican Olympian Partida (20-7-2, 15 Kos) they are miles apart in winning by devastating fashion at Fantasy Springs Casino. The Golden Boy fighter looks ready for the top contenders now.

Diaz, a southpaw from South El Monte, looked much quicker and much stronger in the few exchanges that took place in the first round. It seemed Diaz could do whatever he pleased at any moment.

In the second round, the southpaw caught Partida with a swift left cross that staggered the Mexican fighter with Diaz immediately following up with more speedy lefts and rights. Referee Pat Russell stepped in during the one-sided attack and stopped the fight at 32 seconds of round three.

“Thank you guys for these great opportunities,” said Diaz. “I hope to get the top 10 guys in my division next year, fight on the bigger networks and get a title shot by the end of next year. I feel very strong at this weight.”

The companion featherweight bout was a firefight.

It looked good on paper when they matched Blythe’s Andrew Cancio (16-3-2, 12 Kos) against Nicaragua’s Rene Alvarado (22-6, 15 Kos) and it proved much more. The question was whether the long layoff would affect the Californian. It did not as Cancio won by knockout.

After a round of getting tagged by Alvarado’s rights, Cancio was able to bring the left hooks and body shots and things opened up.

“We made some adjustments and went forward,” said Cancio. “The body shots started catching him.”

Once Cancio connected hard in the fifth round, he gained Alvarado’s respect and things turned completely around. The California featherweight gained control and forced the Nicaraguan to fight more cautiously. It was a style not suited for him.

In the eighth round Cancio connected with a combination and hurt Alvarado who later staggered against the ropes and was rule down. It gained him some time to try and recover but Cancio resumed the attack and had Alvarado stumbling in the neutral corner. Referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight as Alvarado looked dizzy at 2:41 of round eight. Cancio gained his 12th knockout win.

Alvarado had hoped to gain a rematch against Jojo Diaz who defeated him in a close bout this past summer in Los Angeles.


Undefeated Donnie Palmer (7-0-1, 6 Kos) of Boston had a tough time with clever Tommy Washington (7-8, 3 Kos) of Michigan in their six round heavyweight clash. Washington went down from a punch mixed with a push in the second round and that proved the difference in the fight. Otherwise it would have been a draw. The judges scored it a split decision win for the much taller Palmer who began finding the range in the third round. Two judges scored it 57-56 for Palmer and one had it 57-56 for Washington. Palmer remains undefeated.

“I think I had a late start. I was a little bit sluggish. I got a knock down, and I should have capitalized on that,” said Palmer. “He (Washington) gained more confidence as the fight went along, and then the fight became a little harder. He is a great fighter, he did awesome.”

Rafael Gramajo put on the pressure early against Modesto’s Michael Gaxiola who waited a little too long to start his motor. After six rounds in the super bantamweight fight Gramajo was given the win by unanimous decision.

“We knew we would have to be aggressive. I started off slow to work the guy and check him out to see what he’s got and we knew we had to start working. He was a tough opponent,” Gramajo said.

Marco Magdaleno (2-0) defeated Derick Bartlemay (0-1) by unanimous decision after four rounds. There were no knockdowns in the super lightweight bout. Magdaleno was in control against the very tough Bartlemay. All three judges scored it the same 40-36 for the youngest of the fighting Magdaleno brothers.

Coachella’s Jon Jon Dinong (1-0) won his pro debut by knockout over Arkansas Deartie Tucker (2-4) in a welterweight contest. Dinong showed tight defense and quick reflexes against Tucker who wasn’t slow either. After a slow first round Dinong connected with a right hook and floored Tucker. The fallen fighter recovered but was caught in the corner by a barrage of punches and the fight was stopped at 1:29 of the second round.

“They told me to just stay relaxed,” said Dinong who is trained by Lee Espinoza. “Next fight is right here.”

Oscar Torres (7-0, 3 Kos) pounded his way to victory over Evincii Dixon (6-13-1) after six rounds in a welterweight clash.