Josue Vargas Vows To Bounce Back From Devastating First Round Knockout Defeat
By: Hans Themistode
The fast track looked appealing to Josue Vargas. It was also the most dangerous.
The 23-year-old New York native was moving along like your typical highly touted boxing prospect. He easily outboxed everyone placed in front of him and at times, when the moment presented itself, Vargas went in for the kill, stopping nine of his 21 opponents.
Although Vargas enjoyed the spotlight, he craved a bigger share of it. So, in order to send his career into warp speed, Vargas called for a massive step up in competition. While he could’ve moved back and allowed his matchmakers to take control and find a suitable opponent to satisfy his need to face better competition, the 140-pound prospect took matters into his own hands.
In an interview with BoxingInsider.com, Vargas revealed that he reached out to highly ranked Jose Zepeda and urged him to accept a showdown against him. Without a moment’s hesitation, Zepeda accepted but he did so while offering a warning.
“There’s levels to this boxing game,” said Zepeda during an interview with ESPN.
Zepeda’s words rang painfully true for Vargas, as he was thoroughly blasted out in the very first round in front of his hometown crowd at Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden late last night.
As Vargas sat slumped in his corner, he appeared both dejected and disgusted with his performance. Moments later, he stood up firmly on his two feet and made his way to the back with his head held down. After taking the next few hours to sulk in the first official defeat of his career, Vargas refuses to act too hard on himself.
“I will be back!” Said Vargas on his social media account. “This is not the end of it. It ain’t the end of the world.”
During the lead-up to his 140-pound showdown against Zepeda, Vargas was extremely confident that he was idoneous for the task at hand. However, with the promising prospect hitting the deck from the first clean left hand landed by Zepeda, his insistence on fast-tracking his career was a regrettable one.
Still, even with a despondent look etched upon his face, Vargas acknowledges that the profession he’s chosen to engage in is a brutal one. With that said, he’s more than willing to spend his dying breath in the squared circle.
“I’m disappointed how things happen but we in a sport that this shit is a do or die! And I’m willing to do just that.”
Jose Zepeda Destroys Josue Vargas In One Round
By: Hans Themistode
There were a few incredulous eyebrows that were raised when it was announced that Josue Vargas would be taking on former multiple-time title challenger, Jose Zepeda. With Zepeda considered one of the very best at 140 pounds, many believed the current WBC interim champion was a step far too wide for Vargas to climb.
They were right.
Vargas marched his way through the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden to a loud and raucous crowd. The 23-year-old appeared unfazed with headlining his first main event and merely smiled at the dozens of family members that were sitting in attendance. Quickly following the entrances of Vargas, was Zepeda. He swung his fists quickly and forcibly through the air in preparation for what would ultimately be a quick night at the office.
The moment the opening bell rung, Vargas confidently walked to the center of the ring and attempted to hold his ground. Although the New York native is known for his boxing ability, he attempted to bully the hard-hitting Zepeda around the ring.
Vargas found comfort in the first minute and a half as he landed several clean body shots that seemed to catch the attention of Vargas. However, in what felt like a blink of an eye, Zepeda landed a crushing right hand that saw Vargas hit the deck. He stumbled across the ring and attempted to get back to his feet before stumbling into the ropes and back onto the mat.
As Vargas managed to crawl his way back to his feet, he shook his head at the referee and confidently stated that he was just fine. Those words, however, proved to be erroneous. Vargas desperately attempted to get out of the way of the oncoming onslaught of Zepeda. The 23-year-old moved from side to side and held for as long as he could.
Vargas though, pushed off the young prospect, pinned him against the ropes, and landed a five-punch combination that saw Vargas hit the deck once again. This time for good.
The official end of their contest came at the tail end of the very first round.
Josue Vargas And Jose Zepeda Get Their Fight Started Early, Nearly Brawl At Weigh ins
By: Hans Themistode
Josue Vargas refused to be bullied against upcoming opponent, Jose Zepeda, during the weigh-ins earlier today.
The New York native stepped onto the scales for the first main event of his young career in terrific shape. The 23-year-old removed his shirt and showed off a ripped physique, tipping the scales at 139 pounds. Jose Zepeda also had little to no trouble with making weight as he checked in at 139.4 pounds.
From there, both fighters took similar stances as they stared into the crowd with the flags of their respective countries draped over their shoulders. Vargas was far more demonstrative, as he stepped in front of Zepeda and smiled at the crowd. The 32-year-old highly ranked contender refused to sit idly by and give Vargas all of the spotlight as he slyly moved in front of his opponent.
Unappreciative of having to take a backseat, Vargas forcibly moved the hand of Zepeda. The two would then jar back and forth with one another until an unnamed person from the camp of Zepeda stormed the stage and shoved Vargas back. Members of team Vargas immediately began rushing the scene and Zepeda was seen on camera uncorking a right hook. Both sides continued to push and shove one another on stage until they were separated by security on the scene.
Zepeda, the current WBC super lightweight silver champion, is viewed as a slight favorite heading into their showdown and is considered a massive step up in competition for the New York prospect.
In October of 2020, Zepeda produced one of the most jaw-dropping performances of the year in his five-round slugfest against Ivan Baranchyk. Zepeda picked himself up off the deck a total of four times before registering four knockdowns of his own, including the fight-ending blow in the fifth, which saw Baranchyk unresponsive on the canvas for several seconds.
Since then, Zepeda has turned in a far less action-packed win against fringe contender Henry Lundy in May earlier this year.
As for Vargas, he easily outpointed Willie Shaw on April 24th. Despite the highly touted prospect dismantling most of his competition, Zepeda figures to be a much sterner test.
Jose Zepeda Delivers Knockout Of The Year Against Ivan Baranchyk
It’s pretty easy to describe Jose Zepeda vs Ivan Baranchyk.
Fight of the damn year.
With multiple knockdowns within the first few rounds, there was absolutely no way this contest was going to make it to the final scorecards. And in the fifth, things ended abruptly.
After spending some time on the canvas on numerous occasions, Zepeda delivered a left hand that left his man slumped on the ground and completely unaware of his surroundings. In short, it was a brutal finish.
ESPN Boxing Results: Jose Zepeda Wins Lackluster Affair Against Kendo Castaneda
Jose Zepeda vs Kendo Castaneda
Jose Zepeda (32-2, 25 KOs) continued his march towards another title fight with a one sided, but not overly impressive win over Kendo Castaneda (17-2, 8 KOs).
Zepeda started off the night strong as he landed fast combinations both downstairs and to the head. During the second half however, he played it safe as he moved around the ring far more than expected.
The former title challengers safe approach worked in his favor though as he awarded the unanimous decision victory.
Andy Vences vs Luis Lopez
Andy Vences once again found himself on the wrong end of a decision at the end of ten rounds. His opponent on the night in Luis Lopez came into the contest as a huge underdog but was undeterred.
Lopez fought a smart fight on the night. He threw combinations and pushed his man back for much of the contest. In the sixth round, Lopez smelled blood in the water as he had his man in serious trouble. Vences however, managed to weather the storm and made it to the final bell.
At the end of ten rounds, both men were convinced that they did enough to pull out the victory as they simultaneously rose their hands in the air. The judges scoring the contest had a difficult time choosing a winner, but in the end, they handed Luis Lopez the victory via split decision. The final scores were as followed: 96-94 for Vences and two scores of 96-94 for Lopez
Gabriel Muratalla vs Sergio Lopez
For the first time in the career of Gabriel Muratalla, he went to the judges scorecards. Sergio Lopez extended his man more than usual, but the results were still the same as Muratalla cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
The school teacher by day and fighter by night outclassed his opponent over the course of 12 rounds as all three judges handed Muratalla the unanimous decision victory.
Andres Cortes vs Alejandro Salinas
Lightweight prospect Andres Cortes found himself in a difficult position tonight. He was bloodied, battered and knocked down during the early part of his contest against Alejandro Salinas.
While it wold have been easy for Cortes to say to himself that tonight was not his night, he simply fought harder. Cortes has brawled throughout most of his career, but tonight Salinas met him in the middle of the ring and threw shot after. Although he had success early on, Cortes made the adjustment and picked his man apart during the second half of the fight.
At the end of eight rounds, all three judges scoring the contest allowed the undefeated fighter in Andres Cortes to leave the ring with his perfect record intact. The final scores were as followed: 76-75, 79-73, 77-74.
Jose Zepeda vs Kendo Castaneda: Fight Preview and Weigh-in Results
By: Hans Themistode
Jose Zepeda is fresh off the biggest win of his career when he took away the title hopes of former champion Jose Pedraza. He’ll look to make it two in a row when he takes on Kendo Castaneda in the main event tomorrow night at the MGM Grand Conference Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Unlike Zepeda who is looking to continue his momentum, Castaneda is simply hoping to find his rhythm. The San Antonio native picked up the first loss of his career when he took on Yomar Alamo in his most recent ring appearance.
Both men stepped onto the scale’s shirtless and wearing face coverings. They weighed in identically at 143.9 pounds and stared at one another from a safe distance due to COVID-19 protocols. For Castaneda, he steps in on short notice due to former champion Ivan Baranchyk suffering a rib injury. With Castaneda already facing a difficult task, he was given a weight accommodation as the contest was originally set to occur at 140 pounds but will now take place at 144.
Their matchup will headline a six fight ESPN card that will start at 8 PM ET. To check out the results for the entire card, scroll down below.
Jose Zepeda 143.9 pounds (31-2, 25 KOs) vs Kendo Castaneda 143.9 pounds (17-1, 8 KOs)
Andy Vences 129.5 pounds (23-1-1, 12 KOs) vs Luis Lopez 128.2 pounds (20-2, 11 KOs)
Andres Cortes 132.5 pounds (12-0, 7 KOs) vs Alejandro Salinas 132.4 pounds (10-3, 9 KOs)
Gabriel Muratalla 118.9 pounds (3-0, 3 KOs) vs Sergio Lopez 119.1 pounds (4-5-3, 0 KOs)
Genaro Gamez 146 pounds (9-1, 6 KOs) vs Reymond Yanong 141.8 pounds (11-5-1, 9 KOs)
Eric Puente 135 pounds (2-0, 0 KOs) vs Diego Elizondo 135.9 pounds (2-1-2, 0 KOs)