Fighters who haven't seen action in over a year square off when challenger Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov of Tajikistan meets JoJo Diaz Jr. in a 12-round matchup on Saturday. Diaz missed weight and lost his IBF title on Friday, but the fight will go on. Diaz has compiled a 31-1 record with 15 knockouts. Since losing a unanimous decision to Gary Russell Jr. in May of 2018, Diaz has reeled off five straight wins, including a seven-round TKO over Freddy Fonseca. Rakhimov is undefeated as a pro, winning all 15 of his bouts, including 12 by knockout. He has defended his IBO super-featherweight championship three times, with three by knockout.
The main bout from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif., is scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. ET. No fans will be allowed in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic. William Hill Sportsbook has Diaz as a -160 favorite (risk $160 to win $100) in the latest Diaz vs. Rakhimov odds, with the underdog getting +135 (risk $100 to win $135). Before making any Diaz vs. Rakhimov picks, see the latest boxing predictions from SportsLine analyst Peter Kahn.
A 2020 Boxing Writers Association of America Cus D'Amato Manager of the Year nominee, Kahn has his finger on the pulse of what's going on inside and outside of the ring. Kahn has managed numerous world champions and currently manages 20 fighters through his company, Fight Game Advisors. He can be seen and heard weekly on "The Fight Guys" on YouTube.
Kahn is uncanny when it comes to picking fights. He is an astounding 32-7 on SportsLine boxing picks since the hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, returning $3,472 to $100 bettors.
Last month, Kahn predicted Ryan Garcia would knock out Luke Campbell in under 9.5 rounds. Garcia knocked Campbell out in the seventh round. In December, Kahn said Anthony Joshua would knock down Kubrat Pulev in the first three rounds, a 2-1 underdog pick. The result? Joshua delivered two third-round knockdowns en route to a 9th-round TKO. Before that, Kahn predicted legends Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. would fight to a draw, and anyone who followed Kahn's advice was rewarded with a 12-1 payout!
In October, Kahn called one of the year's biggest upsets, predicting Teofimo Lopez would stun Vasiliy Lomachenko to become the unified lightweight champ. The result? Lopez outhit the pound-for-pound king from the first bell, winning convincingly for a monster payout. Anyone who followed Kahn's advice won $350 for every $100 risked.
Now, with Saturday's showdown fast approaching, Kahn has analyzed Diaz vs. Rakhimov from every angle, identified the best value in the boxing odds and released three best bets. Head to SportsLine to see all of his boxing picks.
Diaz vs. Rakhimov preview
Diaz was to fight Farmer in a rematch, but it never came about. The IBF then ordered Diaz to face Rakhimov, the mandatory challenger. Diaz, who competed at the 2012 Olympics as a bantamweight, turned pro shortly after. He started his pro career in 2012, winning a unanimous decision over Vincent Alfaro. In 2015, Diaz fought for the vacant WBC-NABF featherweight title defeating Hugo Partida via TKO in the second round.
He retained the title in the next five bouts and won the WBO-NABO featherweight title. He lost his first professional match against Gary Russell Jr. in 2018.
Rakhimov won a number of Tajikistan National Championship gold medals and has competed at the 2013 World Boxing Championships and the 2014 World University Boxing Championships. He made his professional debut in 2015, won the WBO Inter-Continental Youth super featherweight title in 2016 and by the middle of 2017, had 10 wins with all but two by stoppage. Later that year he won the vacant IBO super-featherweight championship.
Neither fighter has been in action due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Kahn expects both boxers to struggle a bit.
"While Diaz isn't a prohibitive favorite, he's a favorite nonetheless," Kahn said. "Both fighters might display some ring rust in addition to having to acclimate to the bubble environment." You can see Kahn's Diaz vs. Rakhimov picks at SportsLine.
How to make Diaz vs. Rakmihov picks
Kahn is betting the fight goes 12 rounds. But he has an even stronger pick on who wins. He says a critical X-factor you're not even thinking about decides this highly anticipated fight. You can see all his picks and analysis right here.
Who wins Diaz vs. Rakmihov? Visit SportsLine now to see Peter Kahn's best bets for Saturday, all from the fight game manager who is 32-7 on boxing picks since the sport returned, and find out.