Dominican prospect Euri Cedeno faces replacement foe Dayan Depestre on Friday in Orlando
Euri Cedeno hopes to cement his legacy as one of the best amongst fighters from the Dominican Republic and become a world titleholder.
Cedeno will face Dayan Depestre Friday night at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida. The six-round bout will be the opening bout of the DAZN stream (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT) that will feature the main event bout between Ring Magazine and undisputed featherweight champion Amanda Serrano and Danila Ramos.
The 23-year-old (6-0, 6 knockouts), who is originally from La Romana in the Dominican Republic and now resides in Reading, Pennsylvania, last fought on August 4, stopping Fabrizio Rubino in the opening round. The victory over Rubino took place less than four weeks after Cedeno knocked out William Townsel in the first round.
This Friday, Cedeno will square off against the Cuba-born Depestre (1-0, 1 KO), who has only one pro fight, which was a victory over Keith Debow in March. Depestre has competed in the Team Combat League, which is a professional boxing league, scoring wins over Vlad Panin and unbeaten Peter Dobson.
Depestre took the fight last week, but Cedeno does not believe a change of opponent will affect a game plan he has in place, nor is he overlooking his opponent.
“The reality is (a change of opponent) can happen in boxing,” Cedeno told The Ring over the phone Saturday morning. “I don’t mind and I’m not overlooking my opponent. I work hard in the gym and that’s my obligation. The hard work you put in is what translates on the night of the fight.
“There is no easy fight in boxing. Any and all fighters are dangerous. A boxer that wants to see a result (win) in the ring that night knows what to do in the gym in preparation for that. I know my opponent has a lot of amateur experience and he knows his way around the ring. I put in my time in the ring, I worked hard to prepare for (Friday) and we will see the result of the work I put in.”
That work Cedeno spoke about has been against top fighters in recent months. Cedeno traveled to nearby Philadelphia to spar against welterweight contender Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis. He recently traveled to Arizona to spar against Jesus Ramos in preparation for his September 30 fight against Erickson Lubin.
Coupled with being very active in the sport (Friday will mark Cedeno’s fourth fight of 2023), Cedeno sees progress and improvement in his skill-set.
“I want to be very active,” said Cedeno, who is promoted by Marshall Kauffman and managed by Trifon Petrov. “I’m always working and training. I do the necessary steps to prepare in the gym. I’ve always felt that if you treat the sport correctly, and you take it seriously and do what needs to get done in the gym, the sport will treat you well.”
Cedeno is glad to be part of a surge of talented fighters from the Dominican Republic who have found success in the pro ranks. Fighters like WBA world junior lightweight titleholder Hector Garcia, junior middleweight contender Carlos Adames, unbeaten junior welterweight Alberto Puello, and unbeaten strawweight Erick Rosa have entered or become part of the upper echelons of their respective divisions.
With an amateur program that has generated buzz of late, Cedeno believes the fight scene in the Dominican Republic and fighters from the island nation can continue to find success in the pro ranks.
“It’s great to see what is happening in the Dominican Republic,” said Cedeno. “Now there are investments from the government and other entities because there is now discipline amongst fighters from the Dominican Republic. Dominican fighters today are more dedicated to the sport, compared to the past, when there was no discipline. Promoters are now investing money and resources in fighters and you can see there are more well-known fighters from the Dominican Republic.”
The middleweight division is wide open, even as Janibek Alimkhanuly recently unified two of the world title belts in the division.
Cedeno understands it will take a period of time before he is mentioned amongst the best in the division and could fight for a world title belt. It does not hurt to dream and fuel the fire to continue marching down the path to becoming a contender and challenge for a world title belt.
“In reality, the objective is to be a world champion. Not just me or those from the Dominican Republic. Everyone. I have that dream to be the best. To win a world title at 160 pounds.
“I have to continue working hard to fulfill that dream. That’s my goal.”
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]