Zepeda’s Path to a Lightweight Title: Navigating the Challenges

Zepeda’s Path to a Lightweight Title: Navigating the Challenges

William Zepeda’s victory last Saturday night over Giovanni Cabrera solidified his spot as the top contender in the lightweight division, positioning him to challenge for all four belts. The next step is to identify which champion Zepeda’s team at Golden Boy can secure a fight against this year.

According to many, the WBO 135-lb champion Denys Berinchyk appears to be the most feasible opponent for Zepeda, with a high likelihood of victory. However, Top Rank is also eyeing Berinchyk for their fighter Keyshawn Davis, potentially setting up a clash with the undefeated #8 ranked Mark Chamberlain.

Given the irregular enforcement of mandates by sanctioning bodies, pursuing the path of becoming the mandatory challenger is futile for Zepeda. Even with his top-ranking, he may not secure a title shot against Berinchyk if Top Rank opts for a different opponent.

Sergio Mora stated that Zepeda should target Berinchyk as his next opponent, emphasizing that it would be a winnable fight. While Zepeda may be seen as an underdog against other champions like Tank Davis or Shakur Stevenson, he has rightfully earned his shot at a world title.

Despite the challenges posed by the champions, Zepeda’s high work rate makes him a formidable opponent, particularly against Tank Davis. While Berinchyk seems like the ideal choice if a fight can be arranged, facing other top-tier fighters like Lomachenko and Stevenson would still present significant obstacles.

As Zepeda waits for his opportunity, uncertainty looms over his future in the lightweight division. While a title shot may eventually come, the timing and opponent remain unknown. Facing someone like WBC champion Shakur could require a knockout for Zepeda to secure a victory, given the potential for judges to favor his opponent’s movement over his pressure and power punches.

Reflecting on Zepeda’s recent win over Cabrera, it appeared that his opponent gave up in the third round after being knocked down. This has been a recurring theme for Zepeda’s opponents, with several fighters choosing not to continue after experiencing his relentless pressure and hard-hitting style.

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