Joseph Diaz Jr offers to replace Ryan Garcia against Javier Fortuna

Former junior lightweight titlist Joseph Diaz Jr says he’s contacted Golden Boy Promotions and his advisers at MTK Global that he’s ready and willing to step in and face Javier Fortuna on July 9.

From Diaz’s Instagram story:

Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KO) was set to face Garcia (21-0, 18 KO) in a DAZN main event, but Garcia withdrew on Saturday to deal with some mental health issues. Fortuna has sent Garcia his best wishes and said he hopes to reschedule when Garcia is ready.

But Fortuna is right in line for a WBC title shot, too. He’s sort of been jerked around by the sanctioning body and other factors for a while now — he’s had fights set up with Luke Campbell, Jorge Linares, and now Garcia, all of which fell through. So his only fight since 2019 has been a win over Antonio Lozada last November, when he fought just to get a fight in, basically.

Diaz (31-1-1, 15 KO) won the IBF junior lightweight title in Jan. 2020, beating Tevin Farmer to win his first world title. But he missed weight pretty badly for a defense two months ago against Shavkat Rakhimov, losing the belt on the scales and ultimately fighting to a draw.

The 28-year-old Diaz has been itching to get back in the ring since, and a move up to 135 to fight Fortuna, 31, would be a move where he could prove something immediately. It also really might just be what he has to do as far as weight, he might have to move up to 135 anyway, so why not take a good fight with a top sanctioning body contender if he can?

Not sure if this could get done. There’s time to get a deal done, but Fortuna would have to agree. Diaz is a lot different style of fighter from Garcia, and he’s good, too, he’s not some scrub. You gotta be sure you’re prepared to fight someone like Diaz.

Hey, I’m all for it. I don’t know if it can actually happen, but I like the idea. How about you?

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