Super middleweight contender Diego Pacheco (21-0, 18 KOs) knocked out ring veteran Marcelo Coceres (32-6-1, 18 KOs) with a big right uppercut to the head in the ninth round on Saturday night in their headliner on DAZN at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California. The time of the stoppage was at 2:53 of round nine.
The 22-year-old Pacheco mostly fought at a close pace through the first seven rounds, throwing jabs, right hands, and uppercuts when Coceres would come in range.
When Conceres would come forward, the 6’4″ Pacheco would retreat to safety and then immediately clinch when he’d get near. Concere’s accuracy was nowhere, as he threw shots as if his eyes were closed,
Even when Pacheco was directly in front of him, Coceres would miss by a mile. He looked like an old fighter who could no longer see the side of the barn. What was surprising is that Conceres had no inside game, and he would do nothing each time Pacheco would tie him.
A more skilled fighter would have lit Pacheco up on the inside and taken advantage of all the clinching that he was doing because he had no inside game himself. South Central Los Angeles should be very proud of Diego Pacheco.
“He’s a good role model, he’s a good ambassador, and he’s a future world champion for sure,” said Hearn.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Pacheco when asked what it means to him to headline in Inglewood, California. “When I headlined in the UK, it wasn’t even supposed to happen. It happened, and I stepped up to the plate, and I performed like I was supposed to.
“I went to Mexico and did the same thing. I did in my backyard, and it’s a dream come true. I couldn’t be more grateful for Matchroom that brought me to this point, and I’m ready to move forward and headline these big fights all around the world.”
Coceres looked exhausted by the eight round, and was a sitting duck for Pacheco’s slow right hands. Towards the end of the round, Pacheco stunned Coceres with a right to the head, causing him to back up against the ropes. Pacheco then landed four solid punches to the head that had Coceres seemingly close to going down.
After the round ended, Conceres’ right cheek looked swollen, and his corner was frantic, giving him instruction to try and save their exhausted & hurt fighter.
In the ninth, Pacheco went for the kill, landing a crushing right hand to the head that sent Conceres fleeing to the ropes. From there, Pacheco connected with a big right uppercut that knocked Conceres into the ropes, where he slowly slid to the canvas. The referee then counted Coceres out with him, not attempting to get up.
“South Central has a new superstar in Diego Pacheco,” said Eddie Hearn to Matchroom Boxing moments after Diego’s victory over Coceres. “That’s exactly what he needed in his career. He got hit too much in there. He probably respected Coceres a little too much, but it was the patience, the composure.
“In the end, the power was too much. He’s 22 years of age, just 22. This young man has everything at his feet at super middleweight division. It’s one of the glamour divisions of the sport. You’ve got one of the greats in Canelo Alvarez, but honestly, as far as American prospects go, this man is legit,” said Hearn about Pacheco.
“I believe he’s going to go on and have a massive 2024. We need those top 15 guys now. We keep the progression, we keep moving on. We’ve had this man since he was 17,” said Hearn.