‘Chon’ faces Smith for WBC Silver 140lbs Title in Sheffield
Jose Zepeda hopes that a big win over rising Super-Lightweight star Dalton Smith will springboard him towards a fourth shot at world honours.

The three-time World Title challenger from California, USA looks to inflict a first professional loss on Sheffield’s Smith in an intriguing main event at the Utilita Arena this Saturday March 23 – live worldwide on DAZN

Zepeda (37-4, 28 KOs) has twice challenged for gold at Super-Lightweight – falling short on points against Jose Carlos Ramirez for the WBC crown in 2019 before suffering an eleventh-round stoppage against Regis Prograis for the same title in November 2022.

‘Chon’ presents a significant step up in class for Smith – who has cleaned up the domestic 140lbs scene by capturing the British and Commonwealth Titles – and the experienced 34-year-old admits that he would consider retirement if he were to suffer defeat at the hands of ‘Thunder’.

“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.”

Last time out in September, Zepeda was on the wrong side of a boxing masterclass from one of the USA’s brightest emerging stars Richardson Hitchins. Undeterred by a shutout points loss, the southpaw jumped at the chance to step in the ring with another of the world’s fast rising Super-Lightweight talents.

“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 140lbs division.

“Richardson Hitchins was more like a move around. He doesn’t like to get hit. I know Dalton likes to come forwards 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’s no big fights for me afterwards. I’m planning on only being in big fights; so, I have to win this fight.”

Zepeda vs. Smith headlines a huge night of action in Sheffield, Derby’s WBO Welterweight World Champion Sandy Ryan (6-1-1, 2 KOs) puts her gold on the line against Denaby Main’s two-division World Champion Terri Harper (14-1-2, 6 KOs) in a huge domestic clash, it’s Leeds against Darlington as Ishmael Davis (12-0, 6 KOs) and Troy Williamson (20-2-1, 14 KOs) meet in a Final Eliminator for the British Super-Welterweight Title,  Hyde’s Campbell Hatton (14-0, 5 KOs) goes for his first title when he meets Doncaster’s James Flint (13-1-2, 3 KOs) for the Central Area Super-Lightweight Title, Mansfield’s Nico Leivars (5-0-1) takes on Southend’s Piotr Mirga (7-2) in a Final Eliminator for the English Bantamweight Title, Sheffield Light-Heavyweight Liam Cameron (22-5, 9 KOs) returns after his first-round win over Harry Matthews last month, Newham Super-Welterweight prospect Leli Buttigieg (2-0, 1 KO) fights for the second time this year and Cusworth Middleweight Connan Murray (6-0, 1 KO) kicks off the Before The Bell action. 
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