Tevin Farmer vs Joseph Diaz: Feuds Can Become Fights

Tevin Farmer
January 28, 2020; Miami, FL, USA; IBF super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer and Joseph Diaz pose after the final press conference for the Jan. 30, 2020 Matchroom Boxing USA show. Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom
Tevin Farmer defends his IBF super featherweight title against Joseph Diaz tomorrow in Miami, ending a ‘war of words’


And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey
Love the one you’re with

– Stephen Stills

A combination of the current state of boxing, and the motion picture Prometheus, put an unlikely song on my playlist. In this era where promotional entities serve as ‘pusher men” for boxing’s network partners, Stephen Stills’ 1970 hit song “Love The One You’re With” gets major spins.

You think this isn’t boxing-related? Stills mentioned “a rose in a fisted glove.”

Stills wasn’t a proponent of long-distance relationships. He scoffed at the notion of reminiscing about former loves. In Stills’ mind, somebody is always nearby to serve as a great substitute. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Applying Stills’ pragmatic relationship advice to boxing, if we can’t get the great fight we love, we should love the good fight we get.

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Beef in Boxing Often Just Stays Beef

Tomorrow night on DAZN, we get IBF super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer versus one-time challenger Joseph Diaz. We wanted Farmer in a unification bout versus former champion Gervonta Davis.

Money, and ulterior motives, prevented that showdown. Consequently, Davis vacated his WBA title and moved up to 135 pounds. While some effort was made to make Davis vs Farmer, one-time title challenger Joseph Diaz started firing shots to get Farmer’s attention.

He started calling me out on social media, usually I don’t pay attention to people but I thought that he would be a good name on my resume, he’s a hell of a fighter and I wanted to give him a shot at the title.

Once the Farmer and Davis fight failed, Farmer vs Diaz began simmering. The two frequently exchanged shots on social media. Then, they traded words during a fight week activity or two.

I experienced some disappointment, the unification fight never materialized, but quickly realized something about Farmer vs Diaz. A 2016 Olympian with a tough loss in a champion’s hometown against a current champion that hasn’t lost in seven years who was once 7-4-1 has some appeal. The potential fight also excluded the promotional and network ties that ultimately rendered Davis vs Farmer a matter of wishful thinking.

The Feud Builds During Fight Week

This fight with Diaz somewhat justifies Farmer’s decision-making regarding the reported negotiations with Davis.

Talk about overlooking people is overused as you have to plan for the future, but it’s my future and I won’t let any other fighter determine my career – you don’t want to fight me, we move on. I will make my legacy with what I do and who I fight, I don’t care what anyone else does, it’s all down to me

Diaz sounds ready to avoid squandering his second shot at a world title.

I know Tevin is a very good fighter, but I have a lot at stake and it’s the opportunity of a lifetime and I have to go out and showcase to everyone that I am the next star of the sport.

The 27-year-old acknowledged the champion’s defensive prowess during Tuesday’s press conference.

I’m happy and ready to go 12 rounds with him though, I’m not going to go in swinging for the fence, that’s what he wants

What To Expect

Farmer and Diaz arrive at this moment having traveled vastly different roads. Farmer is a 29-year-old confident and well-rounded Philadelphia fighter. With only six KOs in his 35 career bouts, he’ll rely on his slick defensive-based boxing style. He won’t avoid engaging Diaz inside, and may prefer working in the pocket in spots. Diaz lost to Gary Russell Jr. who prevailed behind his mix of speed and solid power. Can Farmer take the fight out of Diaz to win clearly with his mix of boxing, ring generalship and defense?

While Diaz suffered his lone loss to Russell, his commitment to the quicker fighter’s body was notable. At Tuesday’s press conference, he cited being to conservative in that loss.

I learnt a lot from the Russell fight, knowing that I have to take more risks in there.

The question tomorrow night will be whether the slippery Farmer can make Diaz both miss and pay – and for 12 rounds. Diaz is aware a third title shot will be difficult to come by, so expect a balanced and consistent attack from the Californian. He’ll look to hurt Farmer and do enough to make it difficult for the judges to award him rounds. Effort, in the championship rounds, could become the deciding factor.

The challenger sees it differently.

I don’t see it going 12 rounds, I think I will hurt him and make him feel my shots.

The Card’s Other Action

Demetrius Andrade (28-0, 17 KOs) defends his WBO middleweight crown versus Ireland’s Luke Keeler (17-2-1, 5 KOs) in the main event. This fight probably won’t cast a shadow over Sunday’s Super Bowl. In a 126-pound 8-rounder, seven-division champion Amanda Serrano is slated to stay busy against Simon Da Silva.

Compared to Farmer vs Diaz, anticipation is equal for unified super bantamweight Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) to be challenged by upstart Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KOs). DAZN continues to explore match-ups to attract new boxing fans with its second bout featuring YouTube sensations. Jake Paul and AnEsonGib will make their pro debuts.

Super middleweight Anthony Sims Jr. (20-0, 18 KOs) will face Roamer Alexis Angulo (25-1, 22 KOs) for the latter’s WBO Latino title. The preliminary bouts feature the latest assignments for the young talent on Matchroom’s roster – Movladdin Biyarslanov (5-0, 4 KOs), Austin Williams (4-0, 3 KOs), Otha Jones (4-0, 1 KO) and Avril Mathie (4-0-1, 2 KOs).

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