De la Hoya wants Zepeda vs. Stevenson for Q2 2024

Oscar de la Hoya is calling for a lightweight fight between two of the division's top talents William Zepeda, his fighter, and Top Rank stud Shakur Stevenson.

"If anyone can give Shakur trouble," he told ProBox TV and other reporters recently, "it's Zepeda."

The 27-year-old southpaw, unbeaten in 29 fights with 25 knockout wins, is overdue a big fight as the biggest names on his resume so far include roberto Ramirez, Joseph Diaz, and Mercito Gesta.

The Mexican fighter is linked with a return to the ring in the coming months and, as he told ProBox TV recently, he was looking to travel to sign for a match against Maxi Hughes.

Zepeda, alongside his coach Jay 'Panda' Najar, said as much during a Spanish-language talk show on ProBox TV earlier in the month.

A source with knowledge of Golden Boy movements said that, while Hughes is a possible opponent, nothing is confirmed at this time. Talks are positive, the source said, but they are not all the way there yet.

A timeline has long married up with this as de la Hoya told us: "We're looking to bring him back mid-February, late Feb, early March."

Should he win what would be the 30th bout of his pro career, a world championship bout could be on the horizon. "He’s inching toward a world title, maybe two fights away, three fights away, he’s looking incredible," de la Hoya said.

As for a prospective bout involving Stevenson, a fellow undefeated fighter but one tipped to top the pound-for-pound charts in the coming years, de la Hoya said: "In the second quarter of this year — I'd love that."

He added: "Zepeda loves that. He’s always wanted that fight, and he's the toughest guy out there. If we can do that for the second or third quarter this year, we’d love it."

Golden Boy executives even believe it's a fight in which Zepeda can win. 

"He's not one-dimensinal," de la Hoya's partner Bernard Hopkins told ProBox TV and other reporters that Zepeda "He throws punches in bunches."

Elaborating, de la Hoya said Zepeda can beat Stevenson through "a lot of pressure, thinking, lot of combinations, great shape, and footwork.

"If you watch Zepeda train he’s not your typical face-forward, with heart, Mexican style. He’s very technical, which I love, and he throws a lot of punches, which is awesome. If anyone can give Shakur trouble, it’s William Zepeda."