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Boxing Results: Jose Zepeda defeats Kendo Castaneda

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By Chris Williams: In a predictable outcome, Jose Zepeda (32-2, 25 KOs) schooled the overmatched Kendo Castaneda (17-2, 8 KOs) in beating him like a drum in winning an easy 10 round unanimous decision on Tuesday night in light welterweight action at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

Although Castaneda had moments in the fight when Zepeda eased his foot off the accelerator in the second half, it was a one-sided match. The judges scored 97-93, 98-92, and 98-92. Boxing News 24 had it for Zepeda 98-92. Zepeda, 31, gave Castaneda a couple of mercy rounds when coasted in the championship rounds a little.

Zepeda landed 149 of 446 shots for a 33% connect rate. Castaneda connected on 93 of 422 shots for a 22% connect rate.

Zepeda was on another level, hitting Castaneda with shots, and showing the fans how much more advanced he was. It wasn’t until round six that Castaneda started to land good shots.

By then, Zepeda looked disengaged, bored, and no longer focused. It was too easy for him. When Castaneda did come on late to win a couple of rounds, it was only because Zepeda was coasting.

“As I said before, I have four names in mind — WBC, WBO, IBF, and WBA,” Zepeda said.

While Zepeda may want a crack at those four light welterweight titles, his chances of fighting for any of them soon or slim and none. At the earliest, Zepeda will need to wait until 2021, and maybe not until 2022.

Kendo brought in as a late replacement

Castaneda was brought in as a replacement opponent after former IBF 140-pound champion Ivan Baranchyk was injured training for the Zepeda fight and had to pull out.

The win for Zepeda was his second consecutive, but not as impressive as his last victory against the talented Jose Pedraza last September. In that fight, Zepeda dominated ‘The Sniper’ in winning a wide 10 round unanimous decision.

Hopefully, Top Rank can match Zepeda better in his next fight because he’s in the prime of his career at 31, and he can’t afford to use up his valuable scraps on fodder-level opponents like Casteneda. Zepeda already lost four good years of his career after his shoulder injury in 2015.

“He was a late replacement, but he was tough in there,” said Zepeda after the fight about Castenada. “I didn’t take Kendo lightly because I knew what he was capable of.

“He had only one loss by decision coming into tonight. Anybody with a belt at 140 pounds is who I want to fight. A championship fight is my goal, and that is what I am working towards.”

The best hope that Zepeda has of getting a title shot is with the World Boxing Council, but it’s not likely to happen soon. The current WBC light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez is defending against his mandatory challenger Viktor Postol in August.

Zepeda could be fighting for vacant WBC title in 2021

Ramirez will be facing IBF/WBA 140-lb champion Josh Taylor in a unification match, which will likely take place in early 2021. Ramirez said recently that he’d vacate his titles and move up to 147 if he unifies the light welterweight division by beating Taylor.

As such, we’ll probably see Zepeda #2 WBC Regis Prograis for the vacant WBC title after Ramirez gives it up. If Prograis doesn’t take the fight, then it would fall on #4 WBC Pablo Cesar Cano to face Zepeda for the belt.

It would be a nice gesture if Ramirez stayed at 140 long enough to give Zepeda a rematch. After all, their fight from 2019 was too controversial for Ramirez to walk away from it without facing Zepeda again.

Zepeda could also go after the other three titles in the 140-lb division. Josh Taylor is supposed to be moving up in weight to welterweight as well, and that’ll remove him from the equation. If Zepeda goes after the IBF, WBA or WBO belts, he would be facing potentially these fighters:

  • Alberto Puello
  • Ivan Baranchyk
  • Liam Paro
  • Jack Catterall
  • Chris Algieri

Jose Zepeda’s career slowed up by injury

Zepeda’s career was thrown in a huge way when he suffered a dislocated shoulder in his fight against Terry Flanagan in 2015. The two fighters were competing for the vacant WBO 135-lb belt, and many boxing experts felt that Zepeda would win with ease.

It would have been interesting to see how Zepeda would have done against Flanagan had he not been hurt.

Unfortunately for him, he dislocated his shoulder in the second round, and the fight was stopped. The arguably less talented Flanagan was then given the victory, and he was able to hold onto the WBO belt for two years until 2017.

The injury wiped out four years of Zepeda’s career because it took him that long to be given another shot finally. He finally fought WBC light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez last year in February 2019.

Luck wasn’t with Zepeda that night, as the judges gave Ramirez a controversial 12 round majority decision. Most boxing fans saw Zepeda as the clear winner in the fight, but two of the judges were impressed enough with Ramirez to give him the win. The battle took place in Ramirez’s hometown in Fresno, California.

Luis Alberto Lopez defeats Andy Vences 

Super featherweight Luis Alberto Lopez (21-2, 11 KOs) pulled off an upset in defeating Andy Vences (23-2-1, 12 KOs) by a 10 round split decision in the co-feature bout. The judges scored it 96-94, 96-94 for Lopez, and 96-94 for Vences. Boxing News 24 had Vences winning by a 96-94 score. Lopez worked hard, and that’s likely why the judges gave him the win. Vences looked the better of the two, though.

“I felt I won the fight with my pressure. It was a close fight, but I was confident I did enough after the final bell sounded,” said Lopez. “Credit to Vences. I thought he was knocked out earlier in the fight, but he came back like a warrior.”

Other results on the Zepeda vs. Castaneda

Andres Cortes UD 8 Alejandro Salinas

Gabriel Muratalla UD 4 Sergio Lopez

Genaro Gamez TKO 1 Reymond Yanong

Eric Puente MD 4 Diego Elizondo

Andres “Savage” Cortes UD 8 Alejandro Salinas

Gabriel Muratalla UD 4 Sergio Lopez


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