Joseph Diaz Jr. is going to get his title shot.
The 24-year old featherweight dismantled Rafael Rivera in the third and final bout on the undercard of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena to score a unanimous-decision win and a WBC featherweight title bout against champion Gary Russell Jr.
“I feel like I had a good performance overall,” Diaz said after his 120-102, 119-09, 119-109 victory. “I was able to put pressure and dictate the pace of the fight, and be able to enter into a lot of exchanges.”
Diaz (25-0, 13 knockouts) wasn’t sure he would fight Saturday after original opponent Jorge Lara withdrew with an injury. Rivera (25-1-2, 16 KOs) stepped in, but was no match for Diaz, who peppered him with jabs, hooks and uppercuts over the course of 12 rounds.
“Rivera is strong, has good body shots, and had good speed,” Diaz said. “I think we gave them a good show tonight.”
De La Hoya dominates Caballero
Oscar isn’t the only De La Hoya who can fight. His little cousin Diego can, too.
The younger De La Hoya picked apart Randy Caballero to clinch a unanimous 100-90, 98-92, 98-92 win, the NABF super bantamweight title and preserve his undefeated record.
“I trained for this fight, knowing it was going to be a really great battle,” De La Hoya said. “All my sacrifice, I fueled into this fight.”
De La Hoya (20-0, nine knockouts) asserted himself in the opening rounds and appeared to hurt Caballero (24-1 14 KOs) toward the end of the fight. The 26-year old Caballero sustained some swelling and bruising under his left eye.
“When we did this fight, we knew it was going to be a great opportunity to put on a good show,” Caballero said. “Diego is a good kid, and a great fighter and I wish him the best.”
Martin wins in split decision
Ryan Martin is still undefeated. Barely.
The 24-year old lightweight earned a split-decision victory over Francisco Rojo to pair the vacant WBA intercontinental lightweight title with the WBC continental Americans lightweight title.
Judges scored the fight 91-98, 96-93, 95-94 in favor of Martin, who said he didn’t feel 100 percent against Rojo.
“I know I fought a good fight despite the adversity in the ring,” Martin said. “I know the judge that scored in favor of Rojo recognized good boxing in him.”
Martin struggled to fend off the 26-year old Rojo, and, at one point, was warned by the referee after delivering a low blow. He did just enough in the middle rounds to improve to 20-0.
“I’m glad I have this new belt and it’s on to the next,” Martin said.
Contact reporter Sam Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.