Lightweight contender William Zepeda (28-0, 24 KOs) made a statement tonight, crushing Jaime Arboleda (19-3, 14 KOs) in a second round body shot knockout on Saturday night in a fight that had been scheduled for twelve rounds at The College Park Center in Arlington, Texas.
For the fans that were wondering who won the fight tonight? It was the next star of the 135-lb division, the southpaw William Zepeda, with three knockdowns of the Panamanian Arboleda.
The final knockdown left Arboleda face down on the canvas, looking in pain. There was no point in giving a count because it was evident that Arboleda wouldn’t get back up after getting hit with a hard left hand from the 26-year-old Zepeda to the midsection.
In the first round, Zepeda stalked Arboleda, targeting his body with jabs and left hands. Arboleda caught Zepeda with several hard right hands to the head, but it was a quiet round for the most part.
Zepeda became more aggressive in round two, landing hard punches to the head and seemingly hurting him with a body shot. Moments later, Zepeda connected with a left to the midsection that put Arboleda down on the canvas.
When he got up, he looked at his corner and pointed to the right side of his midsection to let them know where he’d been hit. Arboleda then got on his bike and started moving, trying to stay away from Zepeda.
Arboleda was trapped against the ropes by Zepeda and hit with several hard shots, including a left hand to the body that sent him down for the second time.
This time when Arboleda caught up, he attempted to flee, but it was no use. Zepeda quickly caught him and dropped him for the third time with a left to the body. That shot put Arboleda down face-first on the canvas, where he lay still. At that point, the fight was halted.
It was a strange way to be taken out because normally, fighters roll around or end up on their back when they get dropped from a body shot, but it was different for Arboleda.
With the knockout, Zepeda sent a message to the top lightweight champions Gervonta Davis and Devin Haney, that he’s coming for them.
In the co-feature bout, featherweight Victor Morales (18-0-1, 9 KOs) beat Diego De La Hoya (24-2, 11 KOs) by a second round knockout. Morales dropped De La Hoya twice in round two to get the stoppage at 1:08. Both knockdowns were from left hooks to the head.
The 28-year-old De La Hoya was asking for trouble by coming out fast and unloading recklessly with punches against the stronger, quicker, more precise-punching and younger 25-year-old Morales.
De La Hoya was bleeding after the first knockdown and looked flustered when he returned to his feet.
Interestingly, instead of clinging or moving around the ring to try and get his head back together, De La Hoya went right at Morales, throwing a flurry of rapid-fire punches, which left him vulnerable to getting caught for a second time with a left hook and put down on the canvas. This time, De La Hoya was counted out by the referee.
In one of the more competitive fights on the card, junior middleweight Frederick Lawson (30-3, 22 KOs) weathered a storm of punches in the tenth round to defeat Estevan Villalobos (16-2-1, 12 KOs) by a ten-round unanimous decision. The scores were 96-94, 96-94, and 97-93.
Lawson was lucky to make it out of the tenth round because he was badly hurt by Villalobos after getting clipped by a right hand to the head.
Super middleweight David Stevens (13-0, 9 KOs) had a tough time defeating the experienced veteran Marco Periban (26-7-1, 17 KOs) by an eight round knockout decision. The scores were 78-73, 78-73, and 77-74. Periban dropped Stevens in the third.