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Jose Zepeda not ready to retire just yet, wants one more world title shot

Jose Zepeda

Veteran contender Jose ‘Chon’ Zepeda 37-4 (28) has vowed to prove he is not done yet when he takes on Dalton ‘Thunder’ Smith 15-0 (11) at Utilita Arena in Sheffield, England this Saturday night.

The 34-year-old Californian southpaw has been boxing at the top level for almost a decade, coming up short in three world title shots.

A win over WBC number 13 ranked junior welterweight Smith, 27, from Sheffield, will put him back in the world title mix.

“This is going to be a hell of a fight,” said Zepeda. “One thing we know, we have to win big. I have to win this fight. I’m still here because I want new opportunities. I want my fourth chance (at a world title). I’m already 34-years-old, that’s why I’m taking hard fights. I want a hard fights, and I am planning my way back with this fight.

“I saw his record, I know he’s 15-0. I know he’s a big star in the UK. I think it’s a good chance for me to get back to the top. I know he’s good and he seems like a star over there in the UK. He’s energetic inside that ring. He likes to move and he’s kind of fast. I know he likes to come forwards to that’s going to make it a great fight. I do believe it’s going to be a great fight.

“We’re going to love the style. The winners here in this fight are going to be the fans. He’s going to have a hard fight in front of him. This is the first time he’s stepping up in the levels, so he’s going to find out that it’s not easy. It’s not easy to get in there.

“The UK fans, they love boxing – and I know they’re going to love the fight. It’s going to be a war in there because I know Dalton will bring it. I’m happy to go over there and I’m planning to win some new fans. At the end of the day they better cheer their guy up well afterwards because he’s going to need it.”

Zepeda is coming off a virtual shutout loss to rising star Richardson Hitchins 17-0 (7) in Orlando, Florida last September. He says Smith style will suit him better than the slick boxing American.

“It was a tough loss against Hitchins because I wanted to get back into the top ten,” said Zepeda. “He is a talented fighter. I do believe he is going to be a champion. I could have taken an easy fight but that’s not going to get me anywhere. I want a hard fight so I can get back straight away into the top ten contenders in the 140-pound division.

“Richardson Hitchins was more like a move around. He doesn’t like to get hit. I know Dalton likes to come forward so I think it’s going to be a great fight. If I win this fight it’s going to open my opportunities with Matchroom and that’s what I want. I want big opportunities. Experience is what has me here at this point. Three times I’ve fought for a world title, I want my fourth opportunity.

“If I don’t win this fight most likely I’m probably going to retire. So, I’m training my hardest to make sure I don’t retire. If I don’t win this fight, then that means there are no big fights for me afterwards. I’m planning on only being in big fights, so I have to win this fight.”