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William Zepeda-Jaime Arboldeda set for April 29, card to include Ring champ Marlen Esparza

Fighters Network

Lightweight contender William Zepeda, who is ranked No. 7 by The Ring at 135 pounds, will face Jaime Arboleda on April 29, Golden Boy Promotions announced Friday.

The 12-round bout will take place at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, and will stream live on DAZN (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT). The Zepeda-Arboleda fight will now headline the Golden Boy card after the original main event bout between Eimantas Stanionis and Vergil Ortiz Jr. was postponed due to Ortiz withdrawing from the fight due to a recurrence of rhabdomyolysis. 

“In an absolutely stacked lightweight division, I don’t think there is anyone I would favor over Zepeda,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “But other fighters have been favored over Arboleda before and ended up tasting defeat. To get to the next level, Zepeda must continue to use the volume of punches and relentlessness that have made him a force to be reckoned with.”

Zepeda (27-0, 23 knockouts), who resides in San Mateo Atenco, Mexico, is coming off a career-best win in his last bout on October 29, defeating former world junior lightweight titleholder Joseph “JoJo” Diaz by unanimous decision. The win over Diaz took place over five months after Zepeda won a hard-fought unanimous decision over Rene Alvarado.

The 26-year-old also has wins over Hector Tanajara and Roberto Ramirez. Zepeda knows he is in a tough fight against Arboleda, but says he will not stray from what has worked well thus far in his pro career.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to showcase my talents to all my Texas fans,” said Zepeda, who has fought under the Golden Boy Promotions banner since 2020. “You don’t want to miss April 29th. Get ready to see who ‘El Camaron’ is live.”

Arboleda (19-2, 14 KOs) last fought on August 28, defeating once-beaten Jhonatan Arenas by unanimous decision. The win over Arenas took place over seven months after Arboleda defeated Nicolas Polanco by majority decision. Both fights took place in Bella Vista, Panama, not far from Arboleda’s hometown of Curundu. 

The 28-year-old has won his last three fights since losing by knockout to Chris Colbert in December 2020. Arboleda also has wins over Victor Betancourt and Jayson Velez and hopes to pull off an upset win over Zepeda on April 29.

“I can’t predict the outcome of a fight, but one thing’s for sure, I’m stepping into that ring with everything I’ve got,” said Arboleda, who currently resides in Miami and is promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz. “I am ready to give it my all and leave it all in the ring. Bring it on.”

In the co-feature, Diego De La Hoya of Mexicali, Mexico, will square off against Victor Morales in a 10-round featherweight bout. 

De La Hoya (24-1, 11 knockouts), who is a cousin of Oscar De La Hoya, scored a technical decision over Jose Santos Gonzalez in his last bout on December 17. The 28-year-old has won his last three fights since suffering the only loss of his career at the hands of Ronny Rios in July 2019.

Morales (17-0-1, 8 KOs) defeated gatekeeper Diuhl Olguin by split-decision in his last bout on November 19. The Vancouver, Washington, resident fought to a split-decision draw against Rudy Garcia in a clash of unbeaten fighters in December 2021.

In welterweight action, Raul Curiel (12-0, 10 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico will face Chicago’s Frederick Lawson (29-3, 22 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Curiel represented Mexico at the 2016 Olympic Games and is coming off a second round knockout win over Brad Solomon on December 17.

Also on the card, Marlen Esparza (13-1, 1 KO) of Houston will defend her Ring Magazine flyweight championship, along with her WBC and WBA world titles, against Argentina’s Gabriela Alaniz (14-0, 6 KOs) in a 10-round bout. 

Opening the DAZN stream is a 10-round super middleweight bout between David Stevens (12-0, 9 KOs) of Reading, Pennsylvania, and Mexico City’s Marco Periban (26-6-1, 17 KOs).


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]