Another exciting performance from lightweight William Zepeda made it now even more clear that he is a top-ten lightweight in the world of boxing. Zepeda needed only two rounds to stop Jaime Arboleda, as Zepeda dropped his opponent three times en route to the stoppage.
Zepeda is known not just for his power, but also for his punch output. Against Joseph Diaz Jr., Zepeda broke CompuBox records with his output of 1,536 punches thrown in that twelve-round lightweight bout. Now Zepeda’s toughest competition currently is activity, as in a perfect world Zepeda would return in a month or two, but boxing has proven to be far from perfect.
That being said, it is very clear, William Zepeda is one of the emerging young lightweights who is making a class his case to be a top contender for one of the lightweight titles. The only problem is right now - one man, Devin Haney, holds all four titles, which as we have learned can slow down a division.
Here is a look at some potential opponents Zepeda could fight in the future, if not next.
The fight most would want to see would be a classic battle between the hard-punching Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz against the volume of Zepeda. The fight gives shades of Erik Morales versus Marco Antonio Barrera, though it is unfair to set the bar for any fight as that modern classic. The way the two styles match up along with the pride of being the best modern Mexican lightweight seems to be the most exciting match-up that Zepeda could find himself in.
Now if somehow the two were to fight for a world title, what an atmosphere, what a crowd, and what a potential classic we would be in store for. Just the thought alone is exciting.
Shakur Stevenson appears to be the man at lightweight, and that is without a belt, which is a rare thing to achieve. Yes, Devin Haney has the belts, Gervonta Davis seemingly has all the fans, but Stevenson has all the praise amongst the purists. Most impressive about Stevenson is his willingness to want to challenge himself - in short, if you keep achieving greatness in the lightweight division, it seems all, but a given that Shakur Stevenson will be an inevitable opponent.
So if Zepeda continues his upward trajectory in the division, it seems as though it is a matter of when not if, he fights Shakur Stevenson. The style contrast will be quite interesting with the accurate boxer, Stevenson, versus the volume of, Zepeda.
George Kambosos Jnr
George Kambosos Jnr will forever be remembered as an undisputed world champion even if it was for just one fight. Zepeda is a fighter who might be a future star of boxing, and to become a star you have to fight the stars of today. Kambosos is set to fight Maxi Hughes this summer, but if Zepeda were to travel to Australia to fight Kambosos Jnr in the fall that would not just be a huge fight - but a fight that not unlike his win over Joseph Diaz Jr. If Zepeda could fight and beat Kambosos Jnr that would solidify him as a top name in the division.
Frank Martin has the opposite style of Zepeda but occupies the same space. Martin is a beloved lightweight, who recently knocked off undefeated Michel Rivera, and now sits on the cusp of being a top-5 lightweight, not unlike Zepeda.
A match-up between Martin and Zepeda would set forth interesting styles clash, but more so an interesting trajectory bout, to show which of the two could potentially become a legend as the winner would be a fringe-star, and certified main event fighter from that point onward. In a perfect world, these two would fight next as it would answer some questions about the lightweight division, that we as fans want to be answered.
Ortiz became a beloved cult favorite for hardcore boxing enthusiasts after his performance against Vasiliy Lomachenko in October of 2022. Ortiz fought a tough and close fight with Lomachenko in which the experience of Lomachenko edged out the victory. That said, Ortiz was written off before the first bell, and despite losing won over the hearts of many fans. Ortiz is a very respectable professional, who has world title aspirations and is a legitimate contender in the lightweight division. To become a world champion, you have to beat contenders - and Ortiz might be one of the most high-profile contenders in the sport currently.