The theme of body shots continued in Arlington last night when William Zepeda ran through Jaime Arboleda in two rounds.
Last weekend during the biggest fight of the year Zepeda’s Golden Boy Promotions stablemate Ryan Garcia failed to beat the ten-count after Gervonta Davis landed a left to his liver. This time it was Arboleda on the receiving end of similar shots which left him grimacing on the deck for a third and final time in round two.
Zepeda was bumped up to main event status at the College Centre following last month’s postponement of Vergil Ortiz Jr against Eimantas Stanionis for a second time.
As soon as the bell rung for round one Zepeda wasted little time in grabbing his opportunity as he took the fight straight to his Panamanian opponent. Known for his punch output and relentless work-rate Zepeda immediately had Arboleda on the back foot with one-twos. The 26-year-old Mexican tested his body punches in the opening minute, but it was a thudding straight left upstairs which briefly stiffened the legs of Arboleda. It was an ominous sign for the former super-featherweight who didn’t have the sting in his own shots to give him any chance of winning.
Round two began in a similar pattern to the first. Front foot boxing versus survival. Arboleda had a brief moment of success with an uppercut on the inside, but Zepeda proved again he was the more powerful when he dropped Arboleda with a short-left downstairs.
There was still over a minute left in the session. The second knockdown came forty seconds later under near identical circumstances. Arboleda, now cut under the left eye, looked at his corner and tapped the right side of his body to indicate where the damage was. The end was near.
Zepeda 28-0 (24) had barely broken a sweat and began forcing his wounded foe into a fire fight. The contest was soon over when yet another debilitating punch was placed on the ribs of Arboleda 19-3 (14). This time the stricken fighter was lying face down on the deck before rolling on his side clearly in pain. The official time given was 2.16 of round two. The world’s fourth best lightweight, with only Shakur Stevenson, Vasily Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis and champion Devin Haney above him, did exactly what he should have with someone like Arboleda.
Last year ‘El Camaron’ claimed two wins over tougher foes in Rene Alvarado and Joseph Diaz. For his next fight we need to see a greater threat than Arboleda in the opposite corner. The problem his team will have is finding someone of significant standing to take a risk against a dangerous fighter who is still relatively unknown.
“It’s a loaded division, we know that we want to fight for a title, it doesn’t matter who it is,” Zepeda said afterwards.