William Zepeda mauls Maxi Hughes, stopping the Briton after four rounds

William Zepeda mauls Maxi Hughes, stopping the Briton after four rounds


Another fight, another William Zepeda beat down.

The unbeaten 135-pound contender pounded overmatched Maxi Hughes relentlessly until the Briton’s cornermen finally stopped the fight after four rounds of a two-sanctioning body title eliminator Saturday at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

Zepeda (30-0, 26 KOs) and Hughes (26-7-2, 5 KOs) fought on roughly even terms in the first round but it was all Zepeda after that.

The volume-punching southpaw from Mexico didn’t allow his overmatched opponent room to breathe, throwing 408 punches (102 per round) — many of them to the body — in the four rounds.

And Hughes could do nothing to stop him, at least in part because he didn’t have the punching power to turn the tide.

Hughes began to wilt as early as Round 2 and continued to take brutal punishment until the final moments of Round 4, after which his handlers knew he was finished.

“Thirty different camps, 30 different wins,” Zepeda said afterward. “All I can do is thank my camp, thank everybody. And let’s keep it going.”

Zepeda is ranked No. 1 by the WBA and WBC, whose champions are Gervonta Davis and Shakur Stevenson. His victory on Saturday solidifies his position as mandatory challenger in both organizations.

Meanwhile, Vasiliy Lomachenko will face George Kambosos Jr. for the vacant IBF title on May 12. Zepeda is ranked No. 6 by the IBF.

Davis, Stevenson and Lomachenko are three of the most talented fighters today. However, Zepeda appears to be more and more of a threat to anyone every time he fights.

He knows what it would take to succeed against fighters like that.

“We know whoever is ahead of us, they have a lot of experience. We just have to keep working,” he said. “… I’m ready for Shakur, for Gervonta, I’m ready for whoever is on that list.”

And he served up a bold prediction, describing himself as, “The next champion from Mexico.”

No one who has watched Zepeda fight would take exception to that prognostication.


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