Whiz Kids Jojo Diaz and Vergil Ortiz Victorious at Fantasy Springs

INDIO, Calif.-NABO titlist Jojo Diaz floored Mexico’s Victor Terrazas three times in adding the NABF featherweight title to his wardrobe on Thursday evening. It was the most emphatic victory yet for the former Olympian.

A crowd of more than 1,000 fans at Fantasy Springs Casino saw Diaz (26-0, 14 KOs) win an elimination bout over Terrazas (38-5-2, 21 KOs) for the WBC featherweight world title. It was a necessary step to keep his place in line and to keep the rust from gathering.

Diaz (pictured on the right) seemed intent on connecting with the big blows early and Terrazas was the victim of choice. In the first round the speedy southpaw Diaz floored the Mexican fighter twice, first with a body shot, then a counter left cross. He was zeroed in.

After a slower second round, Diaz opened up the third round with more body shots mixed with head shots. Openings soon revealed themselves and a left to the body sent Terrazas down for good at 3:00 of the round. Diaz was declared the winner by technical knockout.

“Victor Terrazas is a tremendous warrior. I thank him for the opportunity because of all the experience he brought to the ring. He’s a strong veteran and I wish him all the best,” said Diaz, 25, who now has the number one spot in the WBC rankings as a featherweight.

The South El Monte whiz kid knows exactly who he wants to fight next or soon.

“I’m ready to have the world title around my waist. Gary Russell, Jr. You’re next,” said Diaz about the current WBC featherweight titlist. “Once I defeat him and have that belt around my waist, I’m going to give the fight fans what they want to see: champions against champions.”

Russell fights under the PBC banner so that might not be easy to do.

Vergil

Big hitting Vergil Ortiz Jr. (9-0, 9 KOs) was extended a bit by Jesus Alvarez (15-4, 11 KOs) but not too much in winning the vacant Junior NABF super lightweight title by knockout. He’s going back home to Dallas, Texas with the belt in his hands.

Ortiz connected quickly with one of his lethal rights and down went Alvarez. It looked like another early knockout for the tall Texan but Alvarez surprisingly got up.

“I was glad he got up and didn’t quit,” said Ortiz.

The fight entered the second round with few expecting Alvarez to survive the round, especially with Ortiz landing sharp pounding shots, but he did.

Ortiz began focusing on the body in the third round and mixing it up to the head. The change in strategy worked and opened up holes for Ortiz who fired a left hook to the head that wobbled Alvarez. Ortiz opened up with 10 blows and referee Raul Caiz Jr. stopped the fight at 2:23 in the third round.

“I could have done better,” said Ortiz.

Trainer Joel Diaz said it was a simple case of overexcitement.

“He was so excited about winning the NABF title that he went head hunting instead of going to the body,” said Diaz who trains Ortiz in Indio. “If he had gone to the body early he wouldn’t have wasted so many punches.”

Ortiz admitted it was a mistake. But taking home his first title is a thrill.

“Yes I’m taking it home with me tomorrow,” said Dallas boxer Ortiz.

Other Bouts

Rey “The Technician” Perez (22-9, 6 KOs) dominated Chimpa Gonzalez with tighter punches throughout the eight round lightweight fight. From the very beginning Perez was able to connect almost at will with left hooks and lead rights as Gonzalez winged wide blows through the air. Around the third round Gonzalez tightened his blows a bit but was still out-hustled by Perez. Two judges scored it 79-73 and the other 78-74 for Perez who, like Gonzalez, fights out of Los Angeles.

San Antonio’s Hector “Finito” Tanajara (12-0, 5 KOs) connected with an overhand right and followed with a right uppercut that crumbled Eduardo Rivera (10-4-2) at 1:58 of the first round. Rivera could not beat the count and referee Raul Caiz Jr. signaled a knockout win for the tall rangy super featherweight. Tanajara trains with Robert Garcia.

San Diego’s Genaro Gamez (7-0, 5 KOs) jumped on Aguascalientes, Mexico’s Miguel Mendoza (23-14-2, 22 KOs) at the sound of the opening bell and picked apart the defense of the patient fighter. After a left hook hurt Mendoza, the Mexican fighter rallied furiously and was winging big wide blows that Gamez was able to avoid. That became the trend for the rest of the fight. In the fifth round Gamez was attacking with vicious body shots with one connecting with such force that Mendoza yelled in pain. It was the first time that the Mexican fighter looked ready to submit. At the end of round five the corner for Mendoza told referee Eddie Hernandez they wanted the fight stopped.

Manny Robles Jr. (15-0, 7 KOs) of Los Angeles dominated Tucson’s Martin Cardona (24-11, 16 KOs) for three rounds before ended the featherweight fight at 2:53 of the fourth round. A series of blows including a big right cross forced Cardona’s corner to request the referee stop the battering.

Photo credit: Al Applerose

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