On Friday night at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, former world champion Joseph Diaz Jr. (32-1-1, 15 KOs) of South El Monte, California won a twelve round unanimous decision over Dominican former two-division world champion Javier Fortuna (36-3-1, 25 KOs).
The victory gave Diaz the WBC's interim-lightweight world title - which puts him in position for a potential fight with full champion Devin Haney.
Diaz redeemed himself after losing his super featherweight title on the scale earlier this year, for a fight that saw him battle to a draw with Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov.
The obvious struggle to make the super featherweight limit created an easy decision for Diaz to make the jump to 135.
He looked very strong at the weight and his body was reshaped and muscular. Diaz was able to take Fortuna's punches and managed to hurt the tough Dominican on more than one occasion.
Diaz is now ready to face all-comers at lightweight - including Golden Boy Promotions stablemate Ryan Garcia.
Garcia was initially scheduled to face Fortuna in July, but he later withdrew from the contest to focus on his mental health. The young fighter, who is guided by veteran coach Eddy Reynoso, is reportedly back in training.
“Javier Fortuna was a warrior,” said Diaz “I thought I would easily land body shots, but he’s a slick defensive fighter. He’s very talented. I wish him the best, and I hope he continues. When I saw the cut [I suffered from a clash of heads], I had hoped that it wasn’t as bad as the Tevin Farmer fight. It wasn’t, so I just dictated the pace from then on.
"I can fight all the top guys at 135-pounds. I want Ryan Garcia or Devin Haney. Let's make this sh!t happen."