Diaz vs. Rakhimov betting odds, preview, and pick
Joseph Diaz makes the first defense of his super featherweight title against the undefeated Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov on Saturday, Feb. 13.
We have the odds and pick you need to be a big winner on fight night.
Sun, February 14 2021, 3:00 AM
Diaz can't let down his guard against Rakhimov
Rakhimov’s rise through the ranks shows that he’s another solid Russian prospect that combines disciplined technique with formidable power. A solid amateur who has wasted no time in the pro ranks, Rakhimov is as live as it gets for Diaz’s first title defense.
Diaz does have the experience of being a part of big events, and has fought superior opposition, whereas Rakhimov is making his first trip overseas for a world title shot.
As strong as Rakhimov is, he can’t be stylistically comparable to the likes of Tevin Farmer or Gary Russell Jr., whom Diaz fought previously. Diaz defeated Farmer and performed well in defeat to Russell due to his assertiveness - something that could play right into Rakhimov’s heavy hands.
If this fight devolves into a slug fest, that won’t help Diaz much. He’s going to need to use his own tools to avoid falling into Rakhimov’s trap.
Diaz vs Rakhimov tale of the tape
|Joseph Diaz||-----||Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov|
31-1 (15 KO)
15-0 (12 KO)
5-0 (1 KO)
Last 5 Fights
5-0 (4 KO)
Is the champ being underestimated?
When Diaz won his title as an underdog against Farmer, a lot of analysts overlooked his body of work and the fact he was fighting a powerless puncher. It’s been some time since he’s been in the ring, but Diaz has twice as many fights and isn’t fighting some Rubik's Cube who will frustrate him for 12 rounds. Eastern European fighters tend to get too stiff or predictable with their punches, and default to amateur tactics.
Diaz graduated from that opponent base a long time ago and has certainly picked up some tricks along the way. Size won’t be an issue here, so it’s easy to take the champion’s pedigree over the challenger’s glitzy advantages on paper.
Rakhimov is formulaic, and Diaz won’t need a lot of time to figure him out. By the middle rounds, we’ll start to see the divide in experience as Diaz begins to pull away.
Diaz will successfully defend his title
There are ultimately levels to this game, and Rakhimov isn’t at the point where he’s ready for Diaz. It isn’t impossible that he can make a good showing with his power, but Diaz’s experience and resume have him properly prepared for this. Expect this to go the distance with Diaz retaining his title in a competitive decision.