Diego Pacheco continues to make it look easy at the scale.
It’s quite the statement for the 6’4” super middleweight, who checked in at a slender 167.8 pounds for his third straight DAZN-aired main event. Pacheco will face former title challenger Marcelo Coceres, who was 167 pounds for their scheduled 10-round bout Saturday from YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California.
The night marks a home game for South Central’s Pacheco (19-0, 16KOs), an unbeaten 22-year-old who has transitioned from prospect to rising contender. He has stopped each of his past eight opponents, the past six which have come since he’s joined Jose Benavidez’s gym last January.
Argentina’s Coceres (32-5-1, 18KOs) fights in the U.S. for the third time, though still in search of his first stateside win. He dropped a twelve-round decision to then-unbeaten WBO super middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders in a November 2019 meeting at nearby Staples Center (now Crypto.com Arena) in Los Angeles. Coceres then resurfaced in the U.S. three fights later. He floored unbeaten Edgar Berlanga in the ninth round of an eventual ten-round, unanimous decision defeat in their October 2021 battle in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The evening’s lone title fights pits Mayerlin Rivas in the second defense of her WBA junior featherweight crown versus former WBA featherweight titlist Erika Cruz.
Rivas (17-4-3, 11KOs)—a two-division titlist from Caracas, Venezuela—was 121.8 pounds for her U.S. and DAZN debut. Mexico City’s Cruz (16-2, 3KOs) was 122 pounds for her second straight fight in the 122-pound division.
Cruz dropped down from featherweight shortly after her ten-round defeat to Amanda Serrano (46-2-1, 30KOs) in their epic undisputed championship on February 4 in New York City. Her first fight back at junior featherweight came in a ten-round win over Melissa Oddessa Parker on September 15 in Tijuana.
Khalid Yafai (27-1, 15KOs), Birmingham, England, 117.6 pounds vs. Jonathan Rodriguez (16-1-1, 6KOs), Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 118 pounds—10 rounds, bantamweight
Marc Castro (10-0, 7KOs), Fresno, California, 131.4 pounds vs. Gonzalo Fuenzalida (12-2, 3KOs), Las Vegas via Santiago, Chile, 132.8 pounds—10 rounds, junior lightweight
Jalan Walker (11-0-1, 9KOs), Los Angeles, 31.2 pounds vs. Jorge Villegas (14-1, 13KOs), Los Mochis, Mexico, 131.6 pounds—8 rounds, featherweight
Criztec Bazaldua (2-0, 0KOs), Los Angeles, 136.6 pounds vs. Pedro Angel Cruz (3-3, 2KOs), San Jose, California, 138.8 pounds—4rounds, lightweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox