William ‘El Camaron’ Zepeda is a force to be reckoned with and the lightweight division will soon find out how real the threat is.
The lightweight division is on fire, and fresh off the top five largest gates in Las Vegas, NV, Golden Boy Promotions had one of their blue-chip contenders William Zepeda (28-0), face off against Jaime Arboleda (19-3) as the main event on DAZN. Although it was supposed to be Virgil Ortiz Jr. headlining, he was forced to withdraw due to an injury. GBP decided to keep the date and elevate their lightweight contender to showcase him and see if he can handle the pressures associated with being the main event. Boy, did he ever.
When you look at Zepeda, he doesn’t seem like anything special, and someone Floyd Mayweather Jr. would say is “too straight up and down,” but there is some natural boxing intelligence that he carries, and that is clear once he fights. In the first round of his fight, the southpaw Zepeda was patient, picking his shots and seeing what Arboleda was giving him, which was a lot of movement. So Zepeda quickly cut off the ring and landed the right body punches to slow down Arboleda.
Once Zepeda could do that, he landed a hard straight left hand down Broadway, which rocked Arboleda, and he quickly had a look on his face of “oh sh*t.” Then in the second round, it was the savage left hook to the body that was destroying Arboleda’s insides and leading to three knockdowns, with the last one being the one that sealed the fight for Zepeda.
After the fight, the humble Zepeda had some things to say to those in the lightweight division. “We had planned to go to the body the first couple of rounds and end it at the top, but we were able to finish the job early with just getting him at the body. I will prove to the world that I am the best at 135. I want to fight the best world champions out there. I signed up for boxing not ballet.” So “boxing, not ballet” are the famous last words from Zepeda last night but something that should send a message to those at 135 lbs that he is coming for it all.
What’s next for ‘El Camaron’? There are options at Top Rank and Matchroom that could potentially work, like George Kambosos Jr. or Shakur Stevenson. I mentioned those two promoters as the likelihood of them doing business rather than with the Premier Boxing Champions is higher. I can see those types of fights happening later in the year or early next year, but for now, maybe he gets a Mercito Gesta later in the summer, which would be a solid Southern California fight. Whichever way he goes, that Zepeda monster truck is coming, and if you don’t look out, he may crush you.