Our pick last week came from the matchup between 2012 U.S. Olympian featherweight champion Joseph “JoJo” Diaz (19-0, 11 KOs) of South El Monte, California and former world title challenger Jayson Velez (23-1-1, 16 KOs) of Puerto Rico. The bout was aired live on HBO this past Saturday. It was the co-feature from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California featuring local favorite and former world champion unbeaten Andre Ward (29-0, 15 KOs) remaining unbeaten and handing Sullivan Barrera (17-1, 12 KOs) his first professional loss. It was a major step up in class for Diaz in competition and debuting on a premium cable network.
Diaz got off to an early lead outworking Velez and landing some very flush shots. Velez though badly trailing on the scorecards never seemed discouraged. Diaz faded a bit down the stretch but never lost control of the fight. It may have been a different story for Diaz had Velez been a heavy handed puncher. This was Diaz’ night though for sure. He stepped up to the challenge and won a unanimous decision. We were winners as well as Diaz was our pick of the week.
This week were going with the matchup between Francisco Santana of Santa Barbara, California and Ed Paredes of the Dominican Republic. The bout will be the main event at the Oceanview Pavilion, in Port Hueneme, California. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds in the welterweight division. The fight will be aired on Unimas with Top Rank promoting. This will be the 2016 debut for both fighters.
This will be virtually a hometown fight for Santana who resides just a short driving distance from the fight venue. He has faced very solid competition and has been very consistent over the last few years. Santana has won 11 of his last 12 fights. Paredes has not fought the competition that Santana has of late but his winning consistency over the last few years has been on par with Santana’s. Neither guy is a big puncher and both have shown very good chins throughout their careers. These elements could lead to a very exciting fight. Santana has performed especially well near his hometown. Santana is our pick of the week.
Disclaimer: Boxing360’s Pick of the week is strictly for entertainment purposes only