Joseph Diaz Jr. shoved Freddy Fonseca during the undercard news conference at MGM Grand on Thursday afternoon.
He pummeled Fonseca during their undercard WBA Gold super featherweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night.
Diaz (29-1, 15 KOs), a 26-year old native Californian, unleashed a barrage of brutal combinations in the seventh round, forcing Fonseca’s corner to throw in the towel after 2 minutes, 7 seconds to protect its helpless fighter.
“At 130, I’m feeling strong, like a beast, and I’m going to become a champion,” Diaz said after claming the vacant title. “I promise you guys.”
Diaz was particularly sharp in the first round, establishing his jab and hook against the smaller Fonseca (26-3-1, 17 KOs). He continued to assert himself throughout the fight, and physically overwhelmed the 27-year old Nicaraguan to force the stoppage.
“I’m ready for a world title my next fight,” Diaz said.
Ortiz overpowers Herrera
California native Mauricio Herrera hadn’t been stopped in his professional career. Then again, he hadn’t fought Vergil Ortiz Jr.
The 21-year old Dallas native pinned Herrera against the ropes early in the third round, and ended the final fight on the undercard with a devastating right hook.
“I’m actually pretty proud of this fight,” said Ortiz (13-0, 13 KOs), a top prospect in the welterweight division. “I am very satisfied with my performance tonight.”
Ortiz attacked the 38-year old Herrera (24-9, 7 KOs) in the opening round and ended the second round with a knockdown. The technical knockout in the third round was simply a formality.
“He was keeping his left hand down the whole time and I knew I was fast enough to capitalize on that,” Ortiz said. “Other than that, I had the fight figured out after the first round.”
Roach Jr. goes distance to take titles
Lamont Roach Jr. opened the streamed portion of the undercard Saturday night by preserving his undefeated record.
And pairing the NABO super featherweight title with his WBO title.
The 23-year old Washington, D.C., native outpointed Jonathan Oquendo of Puerto Rico on all three cards to secure a victory by unanimous decision, thereby continuing his dominance in the division.
Roach (19-0-1, 7 KOs) was patient in the early rounds before establishing his hook and jab. He took control in the middle rounds and peppered the 35-year-old Oquendo (30-5) with punches in the later rounds to score a 97-92, 97-92, 96-93 win.
“He brought the fight to me, and if someone else brings the fight to me, I’m ready,” Roach said. “I can go 10, I can go 12.”