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Jose Zepeda sets his sights on world title shot after outpointing Kendo Castaneda

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Former world title challenger Jose ‘Chon’ Zepeda 32-2 (25) outpointed Kendo Castaneda 17-2 (8) over 10 rounds at the ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday night.

Zepeda outworked Castaneda, running away the winner by scores of 97-93, 98-92 and 98-92 after 10 rounds.

The fight as contested at junior welterweight.

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Zepeda was victorious by using precise power shots, lateral movement and sound defence, landing 50% (113 of 226) of his power shots while limiting Castaneda to just a 22% connect rate.

Zepeda controlled much of the action after Castaneda took the fight at late notice following the withdrawal of Ivan Baranchyk after the rugged Belarussian suffered a rib injury in training camp.

“He was a late replacement, but he was tough in there,” Zepeda said.

“I didn’t take Kendo lightly because I knew what he was capable of. He had only one loss by decision coming into tonight.

“Anybody with a belt at 140 pounds is who I want to fight.

“A championship fight is my goal, and that is what I am working towards.”

The 31-year-old southpaw from La Puente, California, was coming off a 10-round unanimous decision win over former WBO lightweight champion Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza in Las Vegas last September.

Zepeda has twice fought for a world title. In February last year he dropped a majority decision to current WBC and WBO 140-pound champion Juan Carlos Ramirez 25-0 (17) and was stopped in two rounds by Terry Flanagan 36-2 (14) in a stoush for the vacant WBO 135-pound strap after dislocating his shoulder in 2015.

Zepeda was happy about his performance against Castaneda but said he still has room for improvement.

“It was a good performance,” he said. “I can do better. We’re work harder and harder to get a title shot.”

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