Jojo Diaz reveals why he accepted 'tough' Javier Fortuna fight, would take on Teofimo Lopez

Jojo Diaz explained that he took a fight against Javier Fortuna to move on from his disappointing clash with Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov earlier this year.

Diaz was the IBF junior lightweight champion going into the clash but came in above weight, and was stripped of his title. The matchup went to a majority draw, leaving the belt up for grabs for the future.

Speaking on the DAZN Boxing Show, Diaz said he was keen to put that episode behind him and show what he can do at 135 pounds.

“It all started after my fight and my last performance. It was absolutely nothing that I wanted to happen in my career,” he told Ak & Barak.

“But it did happen and I wanted to get right back into it. I started thinking and plotting on how to get right back into the ring and how to get my name on a household name once again, and on that pedestal and on that top of the leads again. I need to be there again. 

“And I really need to go out there and showcase everybody: That wasn't me that night and I'm an elite fighter, and I'm a star so I started praying to God, man, things just ended up happening my way, man. Ryan Garcia ended up pulling out with this Javier Fortuna fight due to his mental illness.

"I wish Ryan Garcia nothing but the best because I know and I've dealt with mental health and mental issues before, and I still do to this day, man, and I'm working on it like how a lot of people are recovering. And I wish him nothing but the best but I just saw that as an opening.”

Diaz acknowledged that while Fortuna is an opportunity to impress again, he is a tough opponent in his own right.

“I knew that a lot of people were still ducking Javier Fortuna and nobody wants to fight him because he's a dangerous, tough fighter, kind of awkward fighter as well and a powerful fighter at 135,” he admitted.

“But with me, man, I feel like I have all the tools, and I got the power at 135 to go out there and and beat this guy, and I feel like this opportunity that God created for myself to go out there and to get back what's mine, and to make me at the top of the division, and at the top of the boxing once again.”

Diaz even suggested that the biggest names in the lightweight division would make suitable opponents in future.

“I just got to see after this after this victory after this victory, if there's an opportunity for me to fight one of the big names at 135,” he began.

“Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, any of these any of these top fighters, Gervonta Davis, Teofimo Lopez, then I mean, of course, I'll be willing to, you know, think about staying at 135 pounds, but I feel like I still have a lot of unfinished business at 130 that I still need to handle.”

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