Sunday, July 21, 2024  |


William Zepeda Mows Down Giovanni Cabrera Inside Of Three Rounds, Calls For WBO Titlist Denys Berinchyk

The William Zepeda train rolled on with his 27th KO vs. gutsy but outgunned Giovanni Cabera. Photo by Cris Esqueda / Golden Boy Promotions
Fighters Network

William Zepeda didn’t waste any time with his assigned task or in narrowing down his next stated target.

The top-rated lightweight contender effortlessly solved the crafty Giovanni Cabrera, whom he knocked out in the third round. Another body punching display ultimately did the trick, as Cabrera took the full ten count at 1:58 of round three Saturday at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.

The DAZN-aired lightweight bout was means to keep Zepeda active as he awaits a long overdue title shot. With the win, he has now issued the marching orders to his team.

“Let’s go after the Ukrainian,” Zepeda told DAZN’s Chris Mannix through translator and head trainer Jacob ‘Panda’ Najar. “I want to fight WBO champion Denys Berinchyk next.”

The fight will be easy to enforce; Zepeda (31-0, 27 knockouts) is the number-one ranked lightweight among all four major sanctioning bodies. He is The Ring’s No. 3-rated lightweight, only behind WBA titlist Gervonta Davis (30-0, 28 KOs) and IBF titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko (18-3, 12 KOs).

Berinchyk (19-0. 9 KOs), No. 5 at 135, defeated Emanuel Navarrete (38-2-1, 31 KOs) via twelve-round decision to win the title on May 18 in San Diego.

Still, there was a fight to win before he could move on to the title picture.

Cabrera (22-2, 7 KOs) came to do what he does best—cause fits for his opponents. The Chicago-bred southpaw managed to outthrow the normally high-volume Zepeda in the opening round. The accuracy wasn’t quite there, though Cabrera landed a couple of nice left hands.

Zepeda was still the more accurate puncher and quickly adapted to Cabrera’s awkward style.

A vicious body punching display turned the tide in round two for the 28-year-old southpaw from San Mateo Atenco, Mexico. The approach was not dissimilar to how Zepeda was able to break down and stop England’s Maxi Hughes after four rounds in their March 16 WBA/IBF title eliminator. Cabrera offered slightly more resistant during those moments—until he couldn’t.

Zepeda dialed up the pressure in round three. Cabrera was on the defensive as Zepeda continued to throw and land downstairs. A follow-up two-punch combination upstairs finished the job as Cabrera was forced to a knee.

“Every time I touched him, I knew I hurt him,” insisted Zepeda. “Whenever I landed he took a step back. I knew it was just a matter of time before I finished him.

Referee Thomas Taylor reached ten just as Cabrera halfheartedly attempted to beat the count.

“I felt awesome in the first round. I thought I was stronger than him and I did feel stronger than him,” said Cabrera. “I thought I was hurting him with the punches I was landing but then I started to be a little too selective.

“Then he got me right in the liver. Then after a few seconds I thought I was going to get up for sure then it was ‘ten’ and I was like OH MAN. I lost track of the count.”

Cabrera’s only other defeat came in a narrow split decision to Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz last July 29 in Las Vegas. Cruz (26-2-1, 18 KOs) went on to claim the WBA junior welterweight title earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Zepeda has called for his next fight to come with hardware at stake.

“I want all four champions,” he insisted. “I’ve already done my work. It’s time for Oscar De La Hoya to do his homework and make those fights happen.”

The message was received loud and clear by his Hall of Fame promoter.

“William Zepeda is number one in every organization,” De La Hoya said. “The WBO champion is a relatively easy fight to make. We will pursue that and then probably down the line, rather sooner than later, we will go up against Shakur Stevenson.”

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