Joseph Diaz Jr. was an interested observer during the back-and-forth online battle between Golden Boy Promotions head Oscar De La Hoya and Ryan Garcia on Thursday.
De La Hoya and Garcia have been publically squabbling throughout the week, as the 24-year-old upstart said that he received more support from the camp of Gervonta Davis following his first career loss in April than from his own team.
The Hall of Fame fighter responded by saying that Garcia should stop crying, man up, and own his loss, adding that the defeat was largely due to the fact that Garcia agreed to a 136-pound catchweight with a 10-pound rehydration clause.
Diaz added fuel to the fire and joined the online fracas, writing on Twitter: “All of this back and for with Oscar and Ryan Garcia – Oscar line me up with him. I’ll fight him at whatever weight he wants. It’s been a long time coming.”
Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) and Diaz (32-4-1, 15 KOs) were seriously linked for a Nov. 27, 2021 fight against one another, but it never materialized because Garcia suffered a hand injury that required surgery.
Diaz would instead go on to fight and lose to Devin Haney.
Previous to that, Diaz filled in for Garcia in July 2021 and beat Javier Fortuna when Garcia stepped away from his announced fight against Fortuna at the time to focus on his mental health.
Diaz’s win against Fortuna was his last, as the former 130-pound titleholder is currently in the midst of a three-fight losing streak. The 2012 United States Olympian dropped a split decision to Mercito Gesta in March. It was the 30-year-old’s first fight at super lightweight.
A fight between Garcia and Diaz should be able to come together fairly quickly once Garcia and De La Hoya get on the same page. The showdown between the Southern California-born and bred fighters would likely take place in the Los Angeles market, just like it was originally planned two years ago.
Both Garcia and Diaz are tied to Golden Boy. The promotional company announced that it had re-signed Diaz to a new deal last month.
Garcia, however, has made it clear that his next fight would preferably feature an opponent who’s not currently tied to Golden Boy.
Garcia said earlier this week that he’d like to target either Rolando Romero, Isaac Cruz, or Teofimo Lopez Jr. at 140 pounds.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.