Diego Pacheco Thrills Crowd With 9th Round KO
By Albert Castillo
Photos: William Trillo
From the YouTube Center in Inglewood, California, Eddie
Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, put together a six- fight card
that did not disappoint. In the main event of the
evening highly touted Diego Pacheco (20-0, 17 KO’s)
fought a tough, cagey opponent in Marcelo Coceres (32-6,
18 KO’s). The veteran Coceres came to fight and landed
some good shots.
In the 8th round Pacheco landed solid combinations that
pushed Coceres into the corner. The bell rang and
Coceres survived without further punishment. In the
ninth round it was more of the same as Pacheco’s
onslaught started with a right-left combination followed
by an hellacious uppercut that dropped Coceres in the
corner and he did not recover. Referee Ray Corona called
a halt to he contest at 2:53 of the ninth round.
The undefeated Pacheco was crowned the WBC USA and WBO
International Super Middleweight champ. In the
post-fight interview Pacheco admitted that Coceres gave
him a challenge, but it was what he needed at this time
in his career. “He threw awkward punches. He was tough.”
“I’m ready for the big fights in 2024.” Indeed, he is
and we look forward to seeing him in the future.
Super Bantamweight Erika Cruz Hernandez (17-2-1, 3 KO’s)
captured the WBA World Super Bantamweight Championship
by defeating the defending Super Bantamweight Champion
Mayerlin Rivas (17-5-3, 11 KO’s) with a majority
decision. Judges scored it 95-95, 98-92, and 97-93.
It was a difficult fight to score, and it appeared to be
quite close. In the early going Rivas either moved away
or clinched. Cruz had a tough time attempting to cut off
the ring. By the fifth round Cruz was working hard to
make the match a fight. Cruz continued to press and
began to connect in the second half of the fight. Both
women had a mouse under their eyes. The fight was very
close however it was Cruz who was the busier fighter and
escaped with victory and the title.
Fighting for the WBA Inter-Continental Bantamweight
championship Jonathan Rodriguez (17-1, 7 KO’s) pulled
out all the stops to defeat Khalid Yafai (27-2, 15 KO’s)
by knocking him out at 2:17 of the first round. Within
the first minute of the round Rodriguez unloaded a huge
haymaking right hand that caught Yafai square on the jaw
and dropped him for a count of ten.
Rodriguez then shortened up his right hands and caught
Yafai again to put him on the canvas. After scrambling
to get to his feet Yafai again caught a right hand on
top of the head which caused him to stumble across the
ring. Rodriguez charged across the ring to finish him
and that is when referee Thomas Taylor stepped in to
stop the fight. Afterward Rodriguez thanked God and said
he had worked extremely hard to prepare for this fight.
His hard work paid off.
Up and coming contender Marc Castro (11-0. 8 KO’s) took
advantage of every combination beating Gonzalo
Fuenzalida (12-3, 3 KO’s) to the punch on every
exchange. In the fourth round Castro had Fuenzalida hurt
but did not pursue.
In each round Castro connected with some strong right
hands and then appeared to back off. Although Fuenzalida
is a light hitter, only 3 knockouts, he had a chin of
stone. Finally in the 7th round Castro unloaded a
barrage of punches in which Fuenzalida could not defend.
Referee Ray Corona stepped in and stopped the fight at
2:31 of the 7th round handing Castro his 11th win and
Lightweight Jalan Walker, (12-01, 10 KO’s) remained
unbeaten as he made short work of Jorge Villegas (14-2,
13 KO’s) knocking him out at 2:55 of the second round.
In the opening bout of the evening Criztec Balzadua
(3-0, 1 KO) knocked out Pedro Angel Cruz (3-4, 2 KO’s)
at .46 seconds of the fourth round.