Super Featherweight Joseph Diaz overcomes gruesome first round cut to win first title from defending champion Tevin Farmer
MIAMI, Florida (January 30, 2020) — The opening rounds of defending IBF Super Featherweight champion Tevin Farmer’s defense versus Joseph Diaz was marred by a severe cut to the left eyelid of Diaz. Referee Samuel Burgos ruled the cause of the cut an unintentional head butt. The Diaz corner, the cutman in particular, became the key figure in the bout. A round earlier, Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KOs) advised his chief second, Chino Rivas, of a hand injury after the first three minutes of action.
Fortunately, the bout moved beyond the critical fourth round, allowing the fight to potentially end with a decision if it was stopped.
Amazingly, Diaz (31-1, 15 KOs) dodged a pair of consecutive right hooks from Farmer in the third which indicated the challenger’s vision was fine. It didn’t look that way.
Despite the nasty cut Diaz fought well through the first half of the fight, and the injury appeared to have little to no effect on his game plan.
Rivas admonished Farmer for his lack of aggression through the first six rounds. The former champion picked up the action in the seventh. Farmer landed a straight left hand to Diaz’ left eye. Both fighters stood in the pocket swinging freely with power.
The two exchanged heavy shots in the eighth round, with Diaz landing the most significant punches. Farmer continued with a noticeable problem from the last several rounds, as he blinked rapidly and stared upwards repeatedly. He stood at close range and fought in the ninth round. After the round, Farmer continued with standing between the rounds.
Diaz out-landed Farmer, placing shots inside, through the first 45 seconds of the 10th round. Farmer flicked his jab over the second half of the round and added in some lazy follow-up shots while standing outside with both his hands down.
Farmer’s apparent offensive problems continued to trouble him into the championship rounds where Diaz boxed smart to close out the fight. He seemed to be confident that he held a sizable lead. Once his gloves and hand wraps were removed he donned his Kobe Bryant No. 8 jersey and awaited the decision. Moments later Burgos raised his hand, as a champion for the first time, after cards of 116-112 and 115-113, twice, were announced.
All photos by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing