Jesus ‘Ricky’ Perez completed the ultimate comeback story with a massive upset victory.

Volume punching offered by the 26-year-old Tijuana native was enough to sway the judges in a ten-round decision over former IBF junior lightweight titlist Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz Jr. Judge Zachary Young (95-94) had it narrowly for Diaz, overruled by judges Tiffany Clinton (96-94) and Dr. Lou Moret (99-90) for Perez in the main event of a Golden Boy Fight Night on DAZN show Thursday evening from Commerce Casino in Commerce, California.

Perez was a plump 200 pounds just four years ago. He feverishly pushed himself in the gym to get back into boxing shape and was a career lightest 138.2 pounds for this bout.

The hard work put in the gym was evident on fight night as he was by far the busier of the two throughout. Diaz was the more accurate puncher but was also outworked during most of the early exchanges. Perez targeted the body, often doubling up downstairs before he came back up top with his straight right hand or left hook.

Diaz was more efficient in his approach. The 2012 U.S. Olympian and former titleholder jabbed to the body and used his infighting skills to slip punches and counter with left hands. Perez seemed unfazed by any of the incoming but his corner demanded a more chaotic approach to make Diaz feel uncomfortable during those exchanges.

Perez intensified his attack in round four. His straight rights and uppercuts were thrown with conviction, which seemed to frustrate Diaz who couldn’t time and counter.

A clash of heads caused Perez to briefly stop punching early in round five. The lack of a break in the action prompted Diaz to continue the action well within the rules. As much was not the case when the 31-year-old southpaw from nearby South El Monte tried to sneak in a shot during the break, which prompted a hard warning by referee Thomas Taylor.

Diaz would truly test the patience of the third man moments later. An exchange along the ropes caused Perez to clinch. Diaz was frustrated by what he described as an attempted headlock by Perez, who he shoved into and nearly through the ropes. Taylor deducted a point from Diaz’s overall score and cautioned that the next infraction would warrant a disqualification.

Both fighters enjoyed success at close quarters in round six. Diaz put in solid work to the body and found success with his left uppercut. Perez enjoyed success with uppercuts of his own but nevertheless a round where Diaz was the far more effective puncher.

Perez returned to his high-octane output in the seventh. Diaz was trapped against the ropes and forced to play defense as Perez ripped off body shots and flurries upstairs. Diaz managed to sneak in a few counter-left uppercuts and right hooks in between the bushel of punches.

Momentum swung back in Diaz’s favor in round eight. Perez continued to let his hands but was forced to contend with bruising and swelling under the right eye. Diaz targeted the wound and let loose with his left hand over Perez’s guard.

Perez was warned for leading with his head in the ninth round, while Diaz was cautioned to not retaliate. Diaz landed with left hands down the middle and right hooks around Perez’s left. Time was called later in the round as Diaz was lectured for bumping with his left shoulder during a clinch in the middle of the ring. Perez attempted a ten-second drill but Diaz punched through the volley and landed the cleaner blows.

Diaz dug to the body with his left hand in the tenth and final round. Perez responded with a right hand upstairs midway through the round. Diaz shook off the blow and found counter opportunities while he fought off his back foot. Perez continued to come forward, but Diaz timed him coming in as the bout drew to a close.

Diaz was stunned to hear the final scores.

“I thought I only lost one round, the point deduction round,” Diaz told DAZN’s Brandi Flores. “I won the fight, this is getting unfair with my career. I trained so fucking hard… at the end of the day, these guys are gonna try to do this politic bullshit and rip me off.”

Diaz fell to 33-5-1 (15KOs) with his fourth loss in a five-fight span. Those who felt he won can point to his far greater accuracy on the night. Compubox’s unofficial punch stats credited Diaz with landing 188-of-471 total punches, a 39.9% clip compared to just 17% for Perez on 137-of-804 punches.

Perez was 126-of-587 in power punches (21.5%), while Diaz landed 134-of-335 (40%) in that category.

Most viewers following online seemed okay with the decision, though not so much with judge Moret’s batshit-crazy scorecard. Even Perez sensed he would have to sweat out the final verdict in the end.

“I knew it was going to be close,” admitted Perez, who improves to 25-5 (18KOs) with the win. “I was worried I wouldn’t get the decision because I’m not the house favorite. I worked so hard for this opportunity and glad I got a fair decision.”

All five career losses for Perez came within his last nine fights, including his last two outings prior to Thursday. The win over Diaz drastically changes his career trajectory.

“All the hard work I put in, waking up at 3:30 a.m. to train before I went to my job for a ten-hour shift, then go back to home to be with my daughter for an hour or two,” explained Perez of the sacrifice. “This right here was the fruits of my labor.”

Meanwhile, the end could be near for Diaz.

By his own admission, he needed to make drastic lifestyle changes after past issues with weight and the law. He is currently ten weeks sober and came in at his lightest weight in more than two years for what remained a must-win situation. He earned a ten-round victory over Jerry Perez (no relation to Ricky) in his previous outing last July but entered the ring at a career-fluffiest 141 ½ pounds.

The work put in to get himself in proper shape for this bout still didn’t produce the desired result. His theory on why that was the cause could cause irreparable harm with Golden Boy, his career-long promoter.

“I don’t think this is a setback,” noted Diaz. “I just got to see what Golden Boy Promotions and my manager (Rick Mirigian) have for me. If they ain’t gonna give me any more fair shakes then I might just wait for my contract to run out and go somewhere else where they deserve and respect me.

“I did everything right in this camp. I trained hard, I fought and won nearly every single round. For them to come and do this is bullshit.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox