The lightweight division is sizzling with talent, and it looks as though the fights that should happen are slowly getting signed. One fighter on the cusp of a title shot returns to action on September 16, which also happens to be Mexican Independence Day. That fighter is 27-year-old William ‘El Camaron’ Zepeda (28-0, 24 KOs), who will face the crafty veteran Mercito Gesta (34-3-3, 17 KOs) in a 12-round bout which will be for Zepeda’s WBA Continental Americas lightweight title. The card will stream live on DAZN and will also feature some of Golden Boy’s up-and-coming fighters.
The lightweight contender Zepeda has an opportunity to fight on a holiday that is not only important to Mexican fans but to the Mexican Culture as a whole. Zepeda knows the significance as it’s something he’s been thinking about his entire life. “It’s a dream that all Mexicans have: to fight on that day. The other dream of mine was to fight in the U.S., which has already been completed. Legendary Mexican fighters of the past have fought on this day, and now it’s my turn.”
Many believe it is his turn, but if you ask Zepeda about it, you won’t hear him complain about not getting a title shot or posting on social media that he needs a big fight right now. Instead, he sharpens his tools by taking on competitive opponents who bring him different looks. Zepeda’s humility is part of his DNA, and he sees himself as the same person he was when he started this journey at the young age of nine. Zepeda is motivated about what he has accomplished so far and grateful to God and those who have helped him along the way.
His grounded attitude is what makes him likable among hardcore fans, but inside the ring he transforms into a fighter you do not want to go up against. In April, Zepeda showed some of that killer instinct when he stopped Jaime Arboleda (19-3, 14 KOs) in just two rounds. He attacked the body like a vintage Julio Cesar Chavez, leading to three knockdowns in the second round, with the last being the nail in the coffin.
Although Zepeda dominated, looking back he didn’t describe the experience with an arrogant tone but instead gave an authentic outlook of it all. Zepeda told ProBoxTV, “I knew he was going to be a complicated opponent, especially how he moves. I wasn’t scared, but cautious, and ensured I didn’t get in too close. I felt early on that he didn’t want me to hit him on the body, and when I did it showed where he was vulnerable. I hit him to the body more, and he dropped for the knockdown. I said to myself, ‘Here is the bread,’ which is what we Mexicans like to say, meaning this is our opportunity. I was listening to my corner when they said start to the body and finish upstairs. That all led to the knockout victory.”
Now, Zepeda has the task of looking impressive against Gesta who defeated Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz (33-4-1, 15 KOs) in March by split decision. Gesta is a tricky southpaw who is coming to beat Zepeda and have another run with hopes of a title shot. Zepeda feels Gesta has a ‘Manny Pacquiao’ style where he moves a lot and throws many punches. It’s another style to prepare for and one that will add to Zepeda’s experience when he fights him at the Commerce Casino on the 16th.
Zepeda wants to set the expectation level for fans who will either see the fight live or on DAZN. Zepeda told ProBoxTV, “I feel good and have been preparing hard for this fight. You will see a William Zepeda with the same hunger as always, but we cannot get careless during the fight.” While not looking past Gesta, Zepeda remains patient and trusts that the process will get him the title shot he’s been waiting for. “We will wait and see. We have this fight coming up and must continue demonstrating that we are ready for that opportunity (title shot). There is a lot of talent in my division, but there is a reason my name is up there with the top names.”