The crew known as the four kings of the lightweight division are seemingly in no hurry to meet, though there is at least one fighter eager to take on the entire lot.
Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz moved up in weight just in time, both from a physical and a commercial standpoint. The former IBF junior lightweight titlist from South El Monte, California is set to take on WBC lightweight titlist Devin Haney (26-0, 15KOs). The December 4 DAZN headliner from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas came about after Diaz lost out on a fight with Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18KOs) who withdrew from their scheduled November 27 clash due to a hand injury.
A win over Haney will make Diaz a two-division titlist, though hardly ready to sit on his lead. In fact, the 29-year-old southpaw can already envision his next challenge.
“That’s something I’m looking forward to, that’s something on my mind, a fight with Gervonta Davis,” Diaz insisted during a recent Zoom media conference call to discuss the fight with Haney. “I want to put on the best, most exciting fights. After I beat Devin Haney, I would love to challenge Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.”
Diaz (32-1-1, 15KOs) knows the challenge that already lies ahead, as he enters as a live underdog—though an underdog, nevertheless—versus Haney, who attempts the fourth defense of his title. The fight takes place one night prior to Baltimore’s Davis (25-0, 24KOs) facing his own upgraded replacement opponent as he defends his WBA “World” lightweight title versus streaking contender Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz (22-1-1, 15KOs).
Davis-Cruz takes place December 5 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, in Diaz’s general home region. Whether he makes the trip or just watches from home after returning from Las Vegas, Diaz—should he prevail over Haney—will be an interested observer that Sunday evening.
“I feel like that fight right there will be a very fun fight, an action-packed fight,” Diaz said of a potential showdown with Davis. “A fight that is going to be an all-out war.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox