Joseph Diaz Jr. enters its next title with a new representation in tow.
The former IBF junior lightweight starter has entered into a long-term management pact with Rick Mirigian, the influential boxing figure based in Fresno announced on Monday. The arrangement comes ahead of Diaz’s plans for a return to the ring hopefully before the end of summer, but with his career now in very capable hands.
“I am pleased to announce that I have signed Olympic and star Joseph Diaz Jr. to a multi-year management deal,” Mirigian confirmed Monday. “I appreciate the opportunity because there was no shortage of people from whom he had to choose during his decision.”
The signing comes on the heels of Mirigian adding top-rated junior welterweight Jose Zepeda (35-2, 27KOs) to his growing roster. Mirigian is best known for competently leading the career of Jose Ramirez (27-1, 17KOs), a former WBC / WBO junior welterweight champion and Diaz’s 2012 U.S. Olympic teammate.
Diaz was looking for a new figure to lead his career on the dissolution of MTK Global earlier this April, all while continuing to be involved in a lengthy lawsuit with alienated manager Ralph Heredia and with the ongoing November 2020 case.
The decision to go with Mirigian should be made for a smooth transition. The Fresno-based manager has long enjoyed a strong relationship with Golden Boy Promotions, Diaz’s career-long promoter who also hosts fellow Mirigian clients Vergil Ortiz (18-0, 18KOs) and secondary WBA junior bantamweight headliner Joshua Franco (18-1- 2). , 8KOs).
Diaz (32-2-1, 15KOs) last fought in a competitive but clear decisive defeat to WBC lightweight starter Devin Haney (27-0, 15KOs) in their title consolidation clash last December 4 in Las Vegas. The 29-year-old Southern entered the fray as the interim WBC lightweight starter, winning the belt in a twelve-round, unanimous decision over Javier Fortuna last July 9 at Banc of California Stadium on USC campus in Los Angeles, just minutes from his. hometown of Southern El Monte, California.
The brightest moment of Diaz’s career so far came in his claim to a junior lightweight title on his second attempt.
Diaz had to overcome a terrible cut to convincingly outsmart Tevin Farmer more than twelve rounds to win the IBF junior lightweight title as part of a January 2020 DAZN show from Miami Gardens, Florida. The feat came nearly three years after his point loss to then-WBC featherweight titleholder Gary Russell Jr., gained four wins between title shots.
Hope to move forward with a title defense against obligatory challenger Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov was dampened first by the pandemic and then by the threat of Farmer exercising his revenge clause, although the absence of a battle date or televised platform ultimately killed plans for the latter.
An agreement was later reached in late November 2020 for Diaz and Rakhimov to meet as the first business order in 2021. By that point, Diaz had already launched an eight-count lawsuit against Heredia, alleging Fraud, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Breach of Implied. -in-Fact Contract, Conversion, Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Benefit, Violation of Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, Quantum Meruit, Accounting against Ralph Heredia and unnamed parties.
The fight took place on February 13 in India, California, only for Diaz to lose his title at the scales after losing weight ahead of their eventual twelve-round, majority draw in a fun fight. The win over Fortuna and a loss to Haney followed, hopefully with a lot of good news in the coming months as Mirigian and Golden Boy talk regularly, often several times a day.
“I look forward to working with Oscar De La Hoya, Eric Gomez, Roberto Diaz and Golden Boy on some massive battles in the near future for one of the [lightweight] the hottest talents in a division, ”said Mirigian.
A firm time frame has not been established for Diaz’s return.
Mirigian also represents undefeated junior welterweight challenger Arnold Barboza (26-0, 10KOs) and a number of blue-chip prospects, including 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Misael Rodriguez (10-0, 5KOs) and Lindolfo Delgado (15-0, 13KOs), who both represented Mexico in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox