In what is becoming a staple to a fight fan’s week, Top Rank again promoted from ‘The Bubble’ inside the MGM Grand, Las Vegas.
Jose Zepeda kept on course for another World title shot with a routine and unspectacular decision win over ten rounds against Kendo Castaneda on Tuesday night.
Zepeda had twice previously failed in previously World title tilts, an unfortunate injury curtailed his WBO Lightweight title bid against Terry Flanagan back in 2015, and in February last year, he was unlucky to miss out via majority decision against Jose Ramirez for the WBC Super-Lightweight belt.
Zepeda was due to face a real crossroads clash against former World champion Ivan Baranchyk, but the Belarusian had to withdraw due to injury.
Zepeda began cautiously against Castaneda, and was patient, landing with mainly single, heavy shots, concerning enough for Castaneda to change stances midway through the opener.
Zepeda was sharp in the early stages, and Castaneda struggled to find a response that would suggest he had any chance of a win. Zepeda would regularly land to the body and also worked behind a hard jab as he dominated the first half of the contest.
The only time Castaneda got into the argument was in rounds six and seven, but Jose wrestled control back down the stretch, and eventually cruised his way to an inevitable victory.
This was confirmed by scores of 98-92 twice, and a third verdict of 97-93. Zepeda was satisfied enough with his performance, and hopes to target each of the ten stone champions in 2021.
“I think (my performance) it was good” said Zepeda post fight. “It was a good performance, but I can do better. Every time the level goes up, I go up too. Like I said before, I have four names in mind; WBC, WBO, IBF and WBA”.
There was an upset at the head of the undercard, as Luis Alberto Lopez took a close split decision win against Andy Vences over ten rounds.
Lopez is a tall and rangy type, and this was proving difficult for Vences to deal with. Lopez’s quick blows were coming too quick for Vences early on, although he did work well when given the chance.
The contest was nearly over inside schedule in the sixth, with Lopez connecting with a right uppercut that had Vences tottering all over the ring.
Lopez attempted to close the show, but just couldn’t pin Vences down to force the referee’s intervention. This gave Vences an avenue back into the fight, and he then became more and more aggressive as he went for the win.
It was a tough battle, with both men showing serious facial damage, and an absorbing watch went to the scorecards.
One judge ruled 96-94 for Vences, but was overruled by the remaining two officials, who tallied the same score for Lopez.
According to ESPN after the fight, Vences needed 12 stitches to close a cut above his left eye.
Andres Cortes maintained his unbeaten record, but had to get off the floor in the fourth round before regaining his composure to take an unanimous win on the cards against Alejandro Salinas by scores of 79-73, 77-74 and 76-75.
School was back in for Gabriel Muratalla, as the preschool teacher took a commanding four round points win against Sergio Lopez. Scores of 40-36 (twice) and 39-37 were good enough For Muratalla, who was taken the distance for the first time in four outings.