Diego Pacheco of Los Angeles (19-0, 16 KOs) says he’s ready for the big-name contenders at in the super middleweight division. Believe him.
Pacheco keeps making a solid case for himself, the latest with his performance Friday night in against Manuel Gallegos of Los Mochis, Sinaloa (19-2-1, 16 KOs) at Cintermex Centro De Exposiciones in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, shown in the U.S. on DAZN. Pacheco stopped Gallegos after dropping him with a body shot, then poured on the offense to force a referee stoppage at 2:45 of round four. Pacheco successfully defended his WBO International and USWBC Super-Middleweight titles.
“I’m just that guy, you know. I’ve been showing everyone I’m getting better, wiser, stronger. You guys will keep seeing it in my fights going on. Diego Pacheco is here for a good time!”
Pacheco called Gallegos a tough guy. “I was under pressure from round one. I knew that’s what he was going to do. He took some tough shots, but he couldn’t take that body shot.”
Pacheco Lighting the Fuse In Mexico
Gallegos took Pacheco’s early power shots well as he worked his way to get to the inside of Pacheco. It was a small 16-foot ring and hard for either man to find space to work. Pacheco can fight at range behind a hard jab. He can afford to wear down his opponent early before he takes a risk. Pacheco began to check the chin of Gallegos with uppercuts and landed several good left hooks to the body, the bread and butter of a Mexican power puncher.
Gallegos tried to force Pacheco into more of a firefight, pressing him into the corner. Pacheco wouldn’t play, working his way out into territory where he got down to business. Gallegos displayed a good chin, but he couldn’t take the blows forever. Pacheco saw he needed to put in extra bodywork to Gallegos. If body shots are the equivalent of chopping down a tree, Gallegos had a thick trunk.
No matter, Pacheco did what he does best. Gallegos finally hit the deck from a hard body blow in the fourth round. He quickly beat the count, but Pacheco was not going to let him off the hook. Pacheco fired away, sealing Gallegos’ fate at 2:45 of round four. An elated Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing jumped onto the edge of the canvas to congratulate his young Mexican-American rising star.
“That was such a good performance,” said an enthusiastic Hearn. “We’ve been watching him grow since 17 years of age. It was the composure; it was the shot selection. This young man is going all the way. This kid is the future of the super middleweight division. To see the fighter he is becoming is a joy to watch. He’s got it all.”
Fast Track for Diego Pacheco
Pacheco is carrying excellent momentum, already enjoying regional card headline status at age 22 with Friday’s main event in Monterrey. In his prior fight in Liverpool, England, Pacheco took out Jack Cullen in March by fourth-round knockout. Hearn said after Friday’s win he plans to bring Pacheco back to Los Angeles for a main event later this year against a “credible top 15 opponent,” noting Pacheco is still just 22 years old.
“That’s a dream come true,” said Pacheco. “I can’t put it into words. Every time I fight in LA, people show me love. I’m back in the gym making sure I put on an even better performance next time.” Asked if he wanted to call out any of the top names at super middleweight, Pacheco said, “I’m only 22, I got time for all of your guys.”
Pacheco is facing a tricky situation in his division. Canelo Alvarez is the current super middleweight kingpin. But Pacheco is on a collision course somewhere down the road with his stablemate and sparring partner David Benavidez. Pacheco is trained by Benavidez’s father, Jose Sr. But as Pacheco said, he’s got time.
Hernandez Makes His Case for a Title Fight
Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez of Mexico City (34-1, 31 KOs) made his case for consideration in the competitive lightweight division with an impressive TKO win over Hector Garcia of Tijuana (20-8-4, 13 KOs). Garcia, a late replacement, was training for another fight when he got the call. In the second round, Hernandez caught Garcia with a counterpunch, opening the left eye of Garcia. Hernandez blasted away but had seconds left in the round. Garcia barely stayed on his feet under the assault. Garcia only lasted 25 more seconds into the third round before Hernandez did more damage, forcing a referee stoppage.
“We worked really hard, and this is the result. I’m delighted Eddie Hearn is here. This is for the fans, but truly this is for my two daughters here,” said Hernandez. “This is a great victory for me; It brings me closer to that title show. I’m number one in the WBC, so it gets me closer to that title shot,” adding he’d like to fight O’Shaquie Foster of Philadelphia, who holds the WBC World Super Featherweight title after defeating former champion Rey Vargas of Mexico.
González and Rodriguez Battle to Split Draw
In a classic Mexican war of punch output at super flyweight, former world title challenger Israel “Jiga” González of Los Cabos, Mexico (28-5-2, 11 KOs) and Jonathan Rodriguez of San Luis Potosi, Mexico (24-2-1, 16 KOs) fought to a split draw. Judges gave scores of 96-94 to each fighter, with the third card at 95-95.
Both hoped to get an opportunity to fight one of the major names in the division, but it’s likely they will end up fighting a rematch of their competitive, entertaining contest.
Conducting their post-fight interview side by side, neither man was angry about the draw. “I think we did some good work tonight. A draw in his house tells you a lot. It was a harder fight than expected,” said Gonzalez, calling his opponent a world-class fighter.
Rodriguez agreed It was an “excellent fight. We had a really tough opponent. I hit him with hooks and he took them. I’m happy to take the rematch whether in his hometown or my hometown. It helped me to face a world-class opponent like him. He’s a friend and I appreciate him taking this fight.”
Undercard Results: Valdez and Pacheco Jr. Need Just One Round
One vicious left hook to the body is all Neider Valdez of Monterrey (9-0, 8 KOs) needed to stop Isaias Ortiz of Mexico (5-4, 3 KOs) in round one to remain unbeaten in the flyweight division.
Heavyweight Federico Pacheco Jr. of Los Angeles (4-0, 3 KOs), the 19-year-old younger brother of Diego Pacheco got right down to business, stopping Oscar Heredia (2-3, 1 KO) in front of his hometown Monterrey fans in just one round to open the televised card. Diego sat ringside to cheer his brother on.