Eddie Hearn says Diego Pacheco will be “off the leash” next year to go after all the big names after Saturday’s ten-rounder fight against Marcelo Esteban Coceres at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California. Pacheco-Coceres will be shown this Saturday night on DAZN.
It’s essential that #3 WBO Pacheco not look past the tough veteran Coceres (32-5-1, 18 KOs) because he’s considerably better than the opposition that Hearn has been matching him up against, and he’s not just going to roll over and let him win without putting up a fight.
Hearn states that the highly ranked unbeaten 22-year-old super middleweight contender Pacheco (19-0, 16 KOs) has told him he wants to fight Edgar Berlanga & Billy Joe Saunders in 2024.
The Matchroom Boxing bossman Hearn didn’t say whether Pacheco will get his wish in facing either of those guys, as they both appear to be focused more on money fights.
If Pacheco is serious about wanting to be matched against the best fighters at 168 in 2024, these would be more realistic names:
David Morrell Jr.
Berlanga wants a title shot against Canelo Alvarez, while Saunders talks about wanting a couple of run-out fights before looking to get the best-paying contest he can. Canelo will likely ignore Berlanga after the way he looked in his fights against Jason Quigley and Coceres.
Billy Joe appears to be looking to replenish his bank account before retiring or going on another long break. Canelo blessed Saunders with a big payday in 2021, and he’s not been seen inside the ring since. It’s unclear if Saunders has already spent the millions he made from the Canelo fight or what.
It would be said if Billy Joe were broke already, but oh well. It wouldn’t be the first fighter that went broke in lightning fashion after getting a load of dough.
It’s fair to say that Saunders would want no part of fighting Pacheco and is only coming back to try and get a shot at the winner of the Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Conor Benn fight.
“Yeah, I think he’s the future of 168 lbs, headlining in Mexico, headlining in Manchester, and now home in Los Angeles. It’s a really good card,” said Eddie Hearn to Matchroom Boxing, discussing the unbeaten super middleweight phenom/contender Diego Pacheco, who headlines this Saturday night against veteran Marcelo Esteban Cocernes on DAZN.
It’s way too premature for Hearn to be calling the huge 6’4″ Pacheco the “future of 168 lbs” because, with the way he’s growing, he could wind up at cruiserweight very soon.
Pacheco is only 22 years old, and he looks like a walking skeleton after he makes weight for his fights in this division. If Pacheco is forced to move up to 175 soon, it’s difficult to predict what his future will be like in that weight class.
This writer wouldn’t like to see Pacheco sacrificed against the top dogs at light heavyweight, like Artur Beterbiev & Dmitry Bivol. Those guys would feast on a fighter like Pacheco, and it wouldn’t be pretty.
“Erika Cruz against Mayerlin Rivas, it’s a tremendous fight. Marc Castro is back. Kal Yafai is in a tough fight [against Jonathan Rodriguez] as well,” said Hearn.
“We’ll see if Diego [Pacheco] can continue his incredible run. I think Coceres is a good test. You saw him in a great fight with Billy Joe Saunders [in 2019], and you saw him in a very good fight with Edgar Berlanga. Those are two names that Diego has mentioned that he would like to fight next year,” Hearn continued about the 22-year-old Pacheco.
“So, I think this is the last one before he’s truly let off the leash, and like I said, I think he’s the future of the 168-lb division,” said Hearn.