Zepeda vs. Hughes Preview: The Steamroller Awaits Hapless Maxi Tonight

By Daniel Mcglinchey - 03/16/2024 - Comments

William Zepeda (29-0, 25 KO) is expected to steamroll the hapless Maxi Hughes (26-6-2, 5 KOs) this Saturday night, March 16th, in their headliner on DAZN at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Hughes, 34, brings much experience to this fight, but he’s facing a walking guillotine in Zepeda, which doesn’t bode well for him. Beating George Kambosos Jr. [and being robbed] was an excellent start for Hughes, but you have to do more than that to win against a talent like Zepeda.

Zepeda is being groomed to be Oscar De La Hoya’s next ‘Golden Boy,’ the replacement that he’s been searching for to take the vacant spot by Canelo Alvarez after he left his promotional company in 2020.

Both Golden Boy fighters, Ryan Garcia and Vergil Ortiz failed to step into Canelo’s shoes as De La Hoya’s next star, but Zepeda could be the one.

So, Can Hughes Pull Off the Impossible?

Short answer: nope. Zepeda is light years ahead of Hughes in the talent department, showing the ability that the 34-year-old Maxi would die to possess. Zepeda’s power will likely send Hughes to the other side of the galaxy to the galactic halo of the Milky Way on Saturday night.

The outcome of the Zepeda vs. Hughes fight is so predictable that it’s almost boring. Hughes’ only chance of not being knocked out by the KO machine Zepeda is if he loses interest and lets him hang around for the full 12 rounds to use as a practice dummy or if he feels sorry for him.

The way that judges robbed Hughes against Kambosos Jr, Zepeda might feel some sympathy for him.

This writer predicts that Zepeda TKO-6 could be too generous. Hughes has no chance of winning. The only real drama is whether he can make it past the midpoint of the contest before Zepeda gets to his tender hindquarters.

The Feel-Good Factor that Won’t Change the Outcome

Hughes has come a long way during his career, rising from obscurity, picking up some notable wins, and doing a number on Kambosos Jr. last July. He’s the ultimate underdog in Saturday’s fight against Zepeda, a fighter you can’t help but root for. If this were a movie, Hughes would pull off a miracle upset and be carried out of the ring by the fans.

The Saudis would then throw massive dough at Hughes to have him headline one of their shows in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, this isn’t fantasy, and what makes for a nice make-believe story doesn’t translate into real life. Zepeda is all wrong for Hughes, and he’ll ruin his chances of fighting for a world title.

With Hughes’ clever defensive skills, the fight should be entertaining for two or three rounds as he outboxes the seek-and-destroy pressure fighter Zepeda. But the Mexican knockout artist Zepeda’s power will slowly wear Hughes down, taking the fight out of him round by round.

By the sixth, Hughes will be there for the taking, and Zepeda will finish him off, forcing a referee or corner stoppage. Again, prediction: Zepeda by TKO around the sixth.