Fighter of the Week: William Zepeda

Two unbeaten under-the-radar top-notch lightweights entered the ring on Friday evening at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles and only one was going to leave with their “O” in place. Hector Tanajara, of San Antonio, was a quick, highly skilled sharp shooting master boxing, with a sneaky good resume who seemed to be overlooked in the crowd at 135. William Zepeda was a hard noised rugged pressure fighter from San Mateo Atenco, Mexico, who was a noticeable underdog who was almost unanimously unknown to all but the hardest of hardcore fight fans. The contrast in styles was noteworthy and intriguing, ringside commentator Chris Mannix likened the bout to Apollo Creed vs Rocky Balboa. Again it was the come forward unknown, underdog who pulled the major upset. Zepeda stopped the Texan after six brutal rounds to capture the vacant WBA Continental Americas Lightweight Title moves his record to a perfect 23-0 (21) move into the top 10 of the lightweight division and take home our Fighter of the Week award. 

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Zepeda, started slowly and perps cautiously, not having a lot of success getting onto the inside of Tanajara. However, that all changed in round two as Zepeda, a southpaw, started to figure out the Texan and was able to work his way onto the inside and back his opponent into the ropes. By the third round, he had found his groove and stunned his man with an overhand left just seconds into the stanza. Zepeda continued to dominate the round with impressive combination punching on the inside. Tanajara, who said all week his plan was to stay on the outside and stick and move was all too eager to sit in the phone booth and trade with the heavy-hitter. About a dozen unanswered punches with around 30-seconds left seemed to daze Tanajara as the Mexican was in full control of the fight after three. The fourth was more of the same with Zepeda ripping away at the body and then stunning his man with precise sides to the side of Tanajara’s head. However, Tanajara was able to get back on his bicycle and control the distance and had a slightly better round in the fifth. However, Tanajara’s legs were starting to fade and the Mexican would not stop applying pressure and a right hand from the Mexican landed perfectly on the body of the Texan backing sending him backward and clearly hurting him Tanajara. The end was nearing as against the undefeated Mexican power puncher unleashed a barrage of power shots as the sixth round ended. Robert Garcia and company had seen enough and would not let Tanajara go back out for the seventh. Giving Zepeda his 23rd win and 21st knockout in 23 career professional bouts.

William Zepeda stops Hector Tanajara Jr. after six rounds

The lightweight division is stacked with incredible young talent and more intriguing fights than you can shake a stick at. Tanajara had been in serious discussion for fights with Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney as long as many of the veterans in the division like Javier Fortuna and Mercito Gesta, those fights are now all in play for the undefeated Mexican as are fights with Jo Jo Diaz who also won on the evening’s co-main event. As are fights with other veterans/former world champions such as Richard Commey or Jorge Linares also Luke Campbell fights on the same streaming service and would be an intriguing metric fight to see how he compares to Ryan Garcia who stopped the Brit at the beginning of the year in seven round.

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