Diego Pacheco scores 16th KO from 19 wins
Diego Pacheco underlined his intentions to become a major player at Super-Middleweight, putting Manuel Gallegos away inside four rounds in Monterrey – to set up a first headline bout in Los Angeles later in the year.
Pacheco (19-0 16 KOs) promised to outbox and break Gallegos down before stopping him, and the rising star delivered all that and more in a performance that was explosive and composed in his second headline bout and becoming the first man to stop the rugged Gallegos (19-2-1 16 KOs). In doing so, he retained his WBO International and WBC USA titles.
Pacheco’s bodywork was particularly impressive and it paid dividends with 30 seconds left of the fourth round, sinking Gallegos to the canvas – and a brutal attack after Gallegos rose left the referee no choice but to stop the contest before the round was over.
“I’m just that guy,” said Pacheco. “I’m getting better, wiser, stronger. The opposition is getting better, but that’s just raising the level of my performance and you are going to keep seeing that.
“It feels great to watch my brother open the show and get that opportunity, it’s amazing. The sky is the limit for us, we’re going to keep working hard, stay grounded and keep pushing until we get to where we want to be.
“It’ll be a dream come true to headline in LA. I keep putting in the work to get things like that come my way, and for it to be happening. Every time I fight in LA the fans come out and show me love, I haven’t fought there since 2019, so I know that it will be an amazing night. I think that’s one of my best performances to date, he was a tough guy and put me under pressure from the opening round, but I knew he would do that and I was well prepared. He took some tough shots, but he couldn’t take that last body shot. I just want everyone in the division. I’m only 22, I’ve got time to fight them all, so Eddie Hearn will line them up, so let’s get it.”
“That was such a good performance,” said Hearn. “We’ve been watching this young man grow since he was 17 years of age and we’re so proud of him. It was a small ring in here tonight, Gallegos is a big Super-Middleweight, he’s strong and has a great chin. It was the composure, shot selection; we knew the chin was like granite, he worked him to the body, chopped him down. This young man is going all the way.
“This young man has headlined against a Brit in England, against a Mexican in Mexico, next, it’s time to go to Los Angeles. He’s the future of the Super-Middleweihgt division, Jose Benavidez Sr is doing an unbelievable job. To see him grow from a 17 year old kid looking outside the ring for some advice, the fighter that he is becoming, he has got it all, it’s a joy to watch and you are looking at the future.
“We’ll have a big show in LA later in the year, South Central LA is going to come out for this young man and we’re going to have a great night. We’ll be looking for a top 15 opponent, Diego talks about the likes of Edgar Berlanga and Jaime Munguia – those are big fights for 2024. I want to finish the year with a big performance in LA against a credible 168lber.
“We’ve still got to do the right job and we’ll listen to Jose about how he is moved, but what I saw in there, a guy under pressure from a big 186lber in a 16ft ring and the composure, the movement, the shot selection; he took a few as well, and you always want to see a fighter take a shot with those 10oz gloves on. I am so excited about this young man, one of the first fighters that we signed when we came to America – and I’m 100 per cent sure he will be a World champion.”
Hernandez vs Garcia
Eduardo Hernandez (34-1 31 KOs) has called for WBC king O’Shaquie Foster to meet him next as he blasted Hector Garcia (20-8-4 13 KOs) away inside three rounds with another devastating display of power. The writing was on the wall when he rocked Garcia to his boots with a right hand towards the end of the second and ‘Rocky’ unleashed a barrage until the bell went. Garcia rose for the third round, but a left hook stunned him once again and this time, Hernandez had the whole round to put him away, and only needed 25 seconds to deliver a nasty knockout and a message to Houston’s Foster.
“It’s a great victory for me,” said Hernandez. “I’m number one in the WBC and it brings me closer to the fight that I want, O’Shaquie Foster.
“We work hard and this is the result of that. More than anything, I am delighted that Eddie Hearn is here to see me tonight, and all the help and support from Kevin Rooney and the Matchroom team. This is for the fans, but it’s truly for my daughters.”
Jonathan Rodriguez (24-2-1 16 KOs) and Israel Gonzalez (28-5-2 11 KOs) promised to deliver a crowdpleaser and the Super-Flyweight duo certainly delivered, in a fight that ended in a split draw. The back and forth action between the busy jabbing and moving Gonzalez and accurate pressure from Rodriguez made it a tough fight to score and when the ten rounds were over, both fighters landed a 96-94 from one judge each and the third called it 95-95.
Monterrey’s own Neider Valdez (9-0-2 8 KOs) was in competitive action in the first two rounds of eight against Isaias Ortiz (5-4 3 KOs) before Valdez ripping in a left hook to the body to register an impressive KO victory.
Diego’s younger brother Federico Pacheco (4-0 3 KOs) started the night in style in just his fourth pro outing. The 19 year old put Oscar Heredia down with a bodyshop barrage in the second round.
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