Diego Pacheco believes he can be a World champion at 22 as he faces Lucas de Abreu over eight rounds on Saturday night at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California, live worldwide on DAZN.
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Pacheco (12-0 9 KOs) has been impressive in his pro journey to date as the 20 year old edges closer to two years in the paid ranks in December. The rangy Californian expects Saturday night to be his last eight round action before tasting his first ten round bout by the end of 2021.
Pacheco expects a stern test from the unbeaten Abreu (12-0 11 KOs) but in his third eight round bout on the spin, Pacheco intends to showcase what he’s learnt from stellar sparring sessions with the likes of Canelo Alvarez and David Benavidez and has spelled out the path he believes can take him to World title glory in 2023.
“I’m ambitious,” said Pacheco. “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?
“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.
“I am happy with where I am now. The relationship with Matchroom has been great since day one and everything has been perfect so far.
“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.
“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. 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.
“I’ve been in camp with David Benavidez and Gabe Rosado ahead of this fight and it’s amazing to be around this level of experience, but it’s not just the things that they tell me, but it gives me the confidence that I’m sparring the best in the world.”
Pacheco’s clash with Abreu is part of a stacked night of action in Fresno, topped by the returning Mikey Garcia’s clash with European Super-Lightweight champion Sandor Martin.
A stacked undercard in support of the main event is led by WBO World Light-Flyweight king Elwin Soto (19-1 13 KOs) putting his crown on the line against Jonathan Gonzalez (24-3-1 14 KOs) while San Antonio talent Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez (13-0 9 KOs) clashes with Jose Alejandro Burgos (18-4-1 15 KOs).
There’s plenty more young talent on the card as unbeaten Australian Super-Featherweight Brock Jarvis (19-0 17 KOs) fights under the Matchroom banner for the first time against Alejandro Frias Rodriguez (13-4-2 6 KOs), Marc Castro (3-0 3 KOs) fights in his hometown for the first time as a pro, and Nikita Ababiy (10-0 6 KOs) and Khalil Coe (1-0 1 KO) both look to add wins to their impressive starts in the pro game.