Friday, March 24, 2023  |


Jo Jo Diaz easily outpoints Manuel Avila

Photo by Tom Hogan/Hoganphotos-Golden Boy Promotions

LAS VEGAS — Jo Jo Diaz moved another step closer to his first title shot by easily outpointing Manuel Avila in a 10-round featherweight bout on the Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. card Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.

The first few rounds of the fight were largely a chess match, with both fighters bobbing and weaving in an attempt to find openings that rarely presented themselves.

However, Diaz (24-0, 13 knockouts) was clearly the slicker boxer and began to beat Avila (22-1, 8 KOs) to the punch consistently enough to win rounds. Diaz never hurt Avila but gradually wore him down, which allowed him to turn a reasonably competitive fight into a rout by the middle rounds.

The scorecards were predictable: 100-90, 99-91 and 99-91, all in favor of Diaz.

Diaz is rated No. 1 by the WBO and No. 2 by the WBC. The Los Angeles-area fighter said before the fight that he hoped to become the mandatory challenger to either WBO titleholder Oscar Valdez or Gary Russell Jr., the WBC beltholder, with an impressive victory on Saturday.

Avila was ranked No. 10 by the WBC.