The IBF super featherweight champion Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. (31-1, 15 KOs) makes his first defense of the title against top ranked contender Shavkatdzhon “Shere Khan” Rakhimov (15-0, 12 KOs) and Patrick Teixeira will face Brian Carlos Castano in the co-feature bout scheduled for February 13th. This event will be shown live on DAZN.
Diaz, a 28-year-old southpaw who represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic games, won the title against Tevin Farmer in January. He had competed in the featherweight division where he built up an undefeated record before taking on Gary Russell Jr. for the WBC featherweight title in 2018. He fell short in that bout but later moved up to super featherweight to compete for a world title in that division. After winning the WBA gold title in 2019, he challenged Farmer in Miami and scored a unanimous decision to capture the IBF title. Now he will get in the ring over a year after winning that title and feels that he is ready for the challenge.
“Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov is a very good fighter who is highly ranked throughout the world,” said Diaz. “I know he’s been aching for a world title shot, but I’m ready to go out there and showcase that I’m willing to fight the best and defend my title with whoever wants to step in that ring with me.”
Rakhimov is based in Russia and had success in international amateur tournaments before turning pro. The 26-year-old acquired the IBO title in his 11th professional fight, and has beaten Emanuel Lopez and Robinson Castellanos before getting this opportunity to win the IBF title. He worked his way to the top contender spot in the IBF rankings and wants to stay unbeaten.
“I’ve been waiting for this chance for a long time,” Rakhimov said. “My team and I are thankful for the opportunity. My training camp is long one but very good. I will do my best to win this fight. I came here for the victory!”
The co-feature bout has Teixeira making his first defense of the WBO super welterweight title against Castano after being named the champion 12 months ago. He became interim champion by beating Carlos Adames last November, then became full champ as ordered by the WBO. As a requirement for being announced as the champion, the first defense would be against Castano who is the mandatory challenger. Castano scored a stoppage win over Wale Omotoso the same month that Teixeira beat Adames to get to this point. While Teixeira knows about Castano and how good he is, he is looking forward to his first title defense.
“I am very confident about this fight against Brian Castaño,” said Teixeira. “I am ready to defeat him and keep my title. The fight will be a war. It will be a big show for all the boxing fans.”
Cover photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA