For a super middleweight contender rising through the ranks, currently Canelo Alvarez is the man to beat as well as emulate and that goal is no different for Diego Pacheco.
Canelo looks to become undisputed champion when he faces Caleb Plant on November 6 and Pacheco (12-0, 9 KOs), who fought on the Mexican’s undercard when he stopped Avni Yildirim in three rounds in February was also given the chance of a lifetime when he sparred the four-weight world champion, prior to his victory over Callum Smith in December.
It’s an experience that the 20-year-old admits he will cherish and has already implemented the techniques he learnt in his gym in San Diego into his own game.
“I was in his camp with Canelo for the Callum Smith fight, a guy on his team recommended me for my height because Callum is so tall,” Pacheco told Matchroom Boxing.
“The experience was amazing, I learnt so much from him. I knew that he was looking to take away Callum’s left hook as he was practicing on me!
“He kept hitting my shoulder and I could tell it was a strategy and it worked, and I’ve picked that up from him because I’ve done that with guy sparring partners and had some success.”
The hot prospect excelled in the amateur ranks, becoming an eight-time national champion and winning the 2017 Junior Golden Gloves, as well as the 2018 USA Junior Olympic Nationals, before signing a long-term promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom, upon turning professional.
The undefeated Californian has made his mark on the undercard of both the first bout and rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr, scoring stoppage victories on both occasions and he looks to make further strides when he fights on the undercard of Mikey Garcia’s return against Sandor Martin in Fresno on Saturday, live on DAZN.
For a relative novice, Pacheco has displayed power in both hands, astute ring IQ and finishing instincts beyond his years, using his 6”4 frame to march forward and largely dominate his first 12 opponents, amassing nine knockouts.
Saturday night sees the Los Angeles man face the undefeated Brazilian power-puncher, Lucas de Abreu over eight rounds and despite stopping 11 of his 12 foes, Pacheco has no concerns over the task ahead.
“Abreu is a good boxer.
“Good enough to beat the guys he’s beaten so far, but he’s never faced someone like me, so I am confident, and I feel it’s going to be a good win to have on my resume.”
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) October 13, 2021
Pacheco halted the tough Jesus Moroyoqui Palomares in six rounds in Mexico in June and fights for the third time this year in as many eight round contests.
Despite having plenty of time on his side, the Californian, who has been sparring the likes of established contenders, David Benavidez and Gabriel Rosado, is keen to secure a world title within two years, before moving up to light heavyweight.
“This is meant to be my last eight round fight and then I am stepping up to ten rounds.
“I will be 21 in March so I should have been in good ten-rounders and into 12 round fights by the time I am 22, so I think it’s realistic to have a World title fight by 22, why not?
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“I walk around at 171lbs or 172lbs. I feel really strong at 168lbs and I think I will be here for a few years, and I’d like to win a title at Super-Middleweight before moving up.
“It’s not difficult for me to make weight at all, I stay in the gym, I love the sport and I stay in shape all the time, I do what I have to do to be a great boxer.”
A statement victory at Chukchansi Park will keep Pacheco on that trajectory and on the path towards breaking through on the world level, where the likes of Canelo, Benavidez and Rosado will await.