Jose Zepeda: “I Believe That I’m In My Prime”


Posted on 09/22/2023

By: Sean Crose

“I’ve had a little bit of bad luck for my challenger fights,” says Jose Zeppeda on the eve of his ten round junior welterweight throwdown with Richardson Hitchins this Saturday in Orlando, “but I believe that I’m in my prime. I know I’m 34 years old, but this is where I’m working the hardest, at 34, and where I feel that I’m the best.”

Indeed, the veteran Zepeda, who has never won a world title, still feels he has a lot of life left in his career. “That’s the main reason why I am taking this fight,” he admits, “but I know in Richardson Hitchens, that he’s a fast fighter and the best prospect out there at 140. I know for a fact that if I beat him, I’m going straight back to the top for a world title shot. So, that’s what I’m looking for and to fight once again for a world title.”

Although the 16-0 Hitchens is young and undefeated, the 37-3 Zepeda will enter the ring for tomorrow night’s main event at the Caribe Royale feeling confident. “In the fights I have seen of him,” Zepeda says of Hitchens, “he is a talented fighter and a good prospect – but he hasn’t been at this level yet. That’s why in this fight we are going to see if he can work under pressure. There are levels. Trust me when I fought for a world title for the first time against Ramirez, the first time I got hit to the body I knew that it was a different level. It’s different stuff. So, let’s see what it’s all about and see how he handles things on Saturday night.”

Yet Hitchins is not only undefeated, he’s the favorite walking into tomorrow night’s bout for a reason…the man is hungry and seen as a fighter on the rise. “He’s fought a lot of guys,” Hitchins says of Zepeda, “who don’t have the athleticism or the same skillset than what I bring to the table. They’re all one-dimensional guys. You know, guys like Ivan Baranchyk, who was one of his best wins, but that guy was nothing. He had no fundamental skills at all in the ring. When he gets in the ring with me this Saturday, it doesn’t matter how many fights he’s had or whether he’s been in with Jose Ramirez.”

“There’s a reason why I’m here after 16 fights,” says Hitchins. “I’m a very smart fighter. He’ll figure that out when I open up on him.” 

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