Boxing Schedule: The Return of William Zepeda
After one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year, we were originally set to be treated to a great follow-up bout – until Vergil Ortiz Jr., had to withdraw from his world title fight with current champion Eimantas Stanionis. In its place now is a lightweight contender bout between William Zepeda taking Jaime Arboleda in a 12-round main event.
Far from the same fight, but at least, we get a top-ten fighter in Zepeda returning to the ring. Arboleda has been a true professional and lost to Chris Colbert famously in a Showtime main event. Beyond that, his fight has not been in the mainstream public eye.
It is a serviceable main event. Zepeda is a fighter who I would like to see face the best fighters in the division, but this fight on paper appears to serve the function as more of a stay-busy fight.
Zepeda, who throws a ton of punches, as Zepeda set CompuBox records on his October 30th fight against Joseph Diaz Jr. in which he threw 1,536 punches in that bout should win if we are being honest. Though anything can happen – it is hard to see a world in which the top-ten-ranked Zepeda loses as this feels like a last-minute replacement to save the fight date previously set for a world title fight for Vergil Ortiz Jr.
It is always great to see Zepeda active though.
The co-feature will see Diego De La Hoya, who has had a rocky road to the top of the sport, facing Victor Morales, a seasoned veteran who is undefeated in a make-or-break fight for both. Honestly, This is the best fight of the card, and also this should be a moment for Victor Morales Jr., to emerge as a viable contender. De La Hoya, once touted to be a future star has had a slew of issues from weight cutting, fights getting canceled all the way to a brutal loss to Ronny Rios, which De La Hoya has never quite put behind him. Morales’ most memorable fight was a draw to Rudy Garcia of L.A., but has a deeper amateur pedigree, and a higher ceiling, in my opinion.
Welterweight Blair Cobbs is a late-minute replacement for Raul Curiel as Cobbs will fill in to face Frederick Lawson in a ten-round bout.
Fresh off our January fight of the month in 2023, David Stevens will face a very good fighter in Marco Periban in a super middleweight bout. Stevens is a banger who trains with Ronnie Shields and has a relentless pressure style. Periban is well past his prime but fought Badou Jack to a draw, and lost a majority decision to Sakio Bika – ten years ago.
Brian Ceballo will be fighting on a Friday night card which will be telecasted on DAZN. This is his first fight since losing to Nicholas Flaz last year. Ceballo was a talented amateur, who has a high upside as a pro but has moved rather slowly given his talent.
Decorated 130 lber Tsendbaatar Erdenebat will face Edy Valencia Mercado in an eight-round fight. Erdenebat has recently made headlines as some have accused him of being the spy in Ryan Garcia’s camp. Erdenebat and Garcia have gone back and forth about this on the internet with Erdenebat even saying he hurt Garcia to the body. Undefeated super lightweight David Lopez of Oakland, Ca, will fight for the third time in his career. His opponent recently went six rounds with Kelvin Davis, and has never been stopped – Lopez might look to make a statement and stop his opponent.
Connor Coyle will fight in a middleweight bout. Coyle should land a good middleweight bout soon as Coyle is 18-0, in one of the worst divisions in boxing that needs fighters to step up and compete.
Joseph Fernandez will fight after a fun run in the ProBoxTV Last Chance tournament.
A longtime lightweight Florida veteran William Silva will return in a stay-busy fight.