In the co-main event of the Top Rank on ESPN card from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV on June 23, 2020, Puerto Rican fighter Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz, 26-2 (16 KOs) took on Jason Sanchez, 15-2 (8 KOs). The first was more of a fill-out round though Diaz seemed to be in command as he pressed forward more. Both fighters were letting shots rip in the second but it was Diaz who was able to land his right counter as Sanchez routinely found himself coming up short on his punches, which he threw with full force.
As we headed into the third, per the ESPN broadcast, speed seemed to be the key factor allowing for Diaz to take the early lead. The two fighters did butt heads midway through but there was no apparent cut caused. Diaz was able to land his overhand right as Sanchez continued to look for proper footing. Diaz was also able to get in a few lets to the body and this was all a result of his jab.
Sanchez got off a couple of decent lefts to start the fourth. Diaz continued to keep him honest and got off the better shots on the inside as he threw punches in bunches. Diaz was able to get past Sanche’s guard as he backed away. Diaz remained in control during the fight round as he was able to land his shots and subtly escape the offense of Sanchez. Diaz landed a very solid left with about 30 seconds left in the round which snapped Sanchez’s head.
Diaz continued to be the ring general in the sixth as he was able to get off his punches more accurately than Sanchez. He also seemed to take a breather on the outside as he was able to make Sanchez miss with many of his punches. Diaz continued to work his craft in the seventh as Sanchez looked to find a way into the fight.
Diaz started the eight with a nice overhand right as he refused to let up on Sanchez who continued to lag behind. Sanchez was able to get off a four-punch combination midway through but he didn’t do enough damage to stop Diaz from pressing forward. Sanchez did land a good right with about 50 seconds left, his best shot in a long period of time.
According to CompBox, Sanchez had a 98-85 connect advantage to start the ninth. It wasn’t as evident while watching the fight. Sanchez seemed to have a bit of a spark to start the ninth as he pressed on the front foot throwing combinations. Diaz slowed things down with a clean overhand right midway through the round. He also was able to use his jab to set up a hard right that snapped the head of Sanchez violently. Diaz seemed to get even more dialed in as the round went on.
Diaz was sharp with the right straight in the 10th as he continued to maintain full control of the fight. Both fighters had visible evidence of wear and tear though Diaz seemed to show more damage. Diaz bloodied the nose of Sanchez midway through the round as he looked to close the fight with no doubts. Diaz seemed to have done enough to gain the victory.
The scores from the judges read 98-92, 97-93, and 98-92, giving Christopher Diaz his second win since losing to Shakur Stevenson in 2019.