On Thursday, February 22, 2018, Joseph Diaz Jr. (26-0, 14 KOs) stepped in the ring to take on former WBC titleholder, Victor Terrazas (38-5-2, 21 KOs) in the headlining bout on ESPN 2.

A 35-year-old veteran with over 40 fights on his ledger, the Mexican Terrazas was no match for Diaz Jr. who has been criticized in the past for a lack of power, but showed tons of it on Thursday night.

Diaz Jr. got to work early in Round 1, pounding Terrazas to the body and dropping him twice in the opening stanza.

Although Terrazas did make it to the third round, it was only to be blasted with another vicious body shot that would spell the end as he winced in pain on canvas.

With the knockout victory, Diaz Jr. retained his NABF Featherweight title and WBO NABO Featherweight title.

After the fight, Diaz Jr. quickly hopped on the microphone alongside Beto Duran and Bernard Hopkins to call out WBC Featherweight champion, Gary Russell Jr.

“I’m ready to have the world title around my waist. Gary Russell, Jr., you’re next,” said Diaz Jr. “Once I defeat him and have that belt around my waist, I’m going to give the fight fans what they want to see: champions against champions. Victor Terrazas is a tremendous warrior. I thank him for the opportunity because of all the experience he brought to the ring. He’s a strong veteran and I wish him all the best.”

Diaz Jr. is the mandatory challenger for Russell Jr.’s belt, but an agreement has not yet been reached for the fighters to face one another.

Also in action on Thursday night was rising prospect Vergil Ortiz Jr. (9-0, 9 KOs) who successfully captured the vacant Junior NABF Super Lightweight title with a third-round technical knockout victory against Jesus Alvarez (15-4, 11 KOs) of Sinaloa, Mexico.

The bout, which was also aired live on ESPN 2, allowed Ortiz to showcase why he is one of Golden Boy Promotions‘ top prospects.

Ortiz, who continues to show blistering power in each contest he enters, gave himself a poor grade, but he looked solid even when Alvarez recovered from a first-round knockdown.

“I feel really good,” said Ortiz, Jr. “My dad was telling me to work the body. I really started doing it in the third round and it showed. I dropped him in the first round with a right hand because he kept pulling straight back. Now it’s time for me to keep working hard so I can be ready to fight again in a few months.”