Jospeh Diaz: 'Unfair' Jesus Perez scores threaten my career

Joseph Diaz insisted he deserved victory after losing via split decision to Jesus “Ricky” Perez. 

The former IBF super featherweight champion saw the three ringside judges at the Commerce Casino, in Commerce, California award Perez scores of 96-94, 99-90 and 94-95 at the conclusion of a 10-round fight in which Diaz risked being outworked but threw the cleaner punches.

“I thought I only lost one round, the point deduction [in the fifth] round,” said the frustrated Diaz, 31. 

Diaz landed 188 punches out of 471 punches thrown. Perez only landed 137 punches but threw nearly double, at 804.

“I won the fight, this is getting unfair, man, with my career,” he said. “I train so hard for my fans.”

The occasion represented the second in three fights that Diaz has lost a close split-decision. In March 2023 he lost to Mercito Gesta when he also believed he deserved victory.

“At the end of the day, these guys are going to try and rip me off and do all these politics, but at the end of the day everyone knows I won the fight,” he added.

“I don’t think it is a setback, but I just got to see the whole Golden Boy Promotions and my manager – if they [are not] going to give anymore fair shakes, I might just wait until my contract is up, and go somewhere else, where they respect me. I did everything I needed to do in this camp.”

“I felt really good, the job was harder than he thought,” said Perez, 26. “I respect my opponent, and the hard work paid off here.

“I thought it was really close, but [I didn’t think] I was going to get the decision, because I was not the favourite, but I just worked [hard]. Thanks to God, thanks to the promotion and everybody for the opportunity to give me a fair decision.”

Perez trains at The Arena Boxing Gym in San Diego, California. He had previously come close, against Brian Norman Jr, to securing an upset victory, and against Diaz finally got his career-defining moment.

“All the hard work that [I] did waking up at 3.30am, going to train hard, go to work all day, work an eight-to-ten hour shift then go to the gym and then enjoy an hour or two with my daughters. This is the fruits of my labour."