Will a win over William Zepeda open doors at 135 for Hector Tanajara Jr.?

Hector Tanajara. Photograph by Sye Williams / Golden Boy Promotions

If Hector Tanajara Jr. is frightened about dealing with a power-puncher in William Zepeda, he certain isn’t displaying it.

Then once more, having sparred Mikey Garcia, Jose Ramirez and Vergil Ortiz, Tanajara believes Zepeda could also be in over his head.

Tanajara and Zepeda will sq. off Friday night, at Banc of California Stadium, in Los Angeles, California. The ten-round bout might be a part of the stacked DAZN stream that may even characteristic the light-weight bout between Joseph “JoJo” Diaz and Javier Fortuna and the sunshine heavyweight conflict between Gilberto Ramirez and Sullivan Barrera (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT).

The conflict between Tanajara and Zepeda is certainly one of, if not, probably the most anticipated and evenly-matched fights on the Golden Boy Promotions card. Tanajara will try to outbox and counter the extra aggressive, highly effective Zepeda in what can be a very powerful struggle to this point of their younger careers.

Tanajara (19-0, 5 knockouts) just isn’t overlooking Zepeda however believes he’s the extra full fighter and the sparring and coaching he receives on the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy, in Riverside, California, would be the distinction.

“I’m approaching this struggle as I’d another however I take each struggle as necessary as the subsequent,” Tanajara advised The Ring over the cellphone Monday. “I took this coaching camp to the subsequent stage. I’m in one of the best form of my life. I do know [Zepeda] might be in one of the best form to face me as properly.

“I’m aware of Willam. I sparred him on the Olympic Coaching Middle [in Colorado] once I was 15 or 16 years previous. He has energy however he’s constructed his file in Mexico. I consider I’ve fought the more durable opposition. My profession has been more durable than his. He’s sturdy and comes ahead however I’ve confronted the higher opposition.”

The 24-year-old Tanajara, who was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, most lately fought on January 11 of final yr, defeating former featherweight and junior light-weight title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos. Different notable victories on Tanajara’s ledger are Roger Gutierrez, Robert Manzanarez and Ezequiel Avila.

Tanajara has benefited from the quantity of labor he has acquired from coach Robert Garcia, who trains a who’s who of titleholders, unbeaten fighters and contenders. Sooner or later, Tanajara might be sparring Vergil Ortiz Jr.; the subsequent day, Tanajara will commerce punches with Jose Ramirez. Tanajara believes he has turn out to be a extra full fighter due to the quantity of sparring he has acquired in opposition to a few of the prime fighters in boxing at present.

Hector Tanajara (left) vs. Robert Manzanarez. Photo by Derrick Hogan/ Hogan Photos

Hector Tanajara (left) vs. Robert Manzanarez. Photograph by Derrick Hogan/ Hogan Images

“There’s no higher sparring than on the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy,” mentioned Tanajara, who’s managed by Rick Mirigian. “That place will get me mentally and bodily prepared for these fights. I all the time felt that the sparring is more durable than the fights itself. The struggle could appear onerous however the work we put within the health club makes it simpler.

“I actually like sparring with Vergil. He’s two weight lessons heavier than me however he’s top-of-the-line fighters in boxing at present. He pushes me to my limits. As a result of I spar Vergil, my fights look simple. My opponents don’t have the talents just like the fighters I spar day by day on the health club. I’m actually grateful for the sparring I obtain.”

On prime of the sparring, Tanajara additionally counts on the recommendation and knowledge from Garcia. Whether or not he motivates Tanajara within the nook throughout a struggle or asking about household after a coaching session, Garcia has created an unbreakable bond with Tanajara.

“Having somebody like Robert in my nook means every part,” mentioned Tanajara. “He is without doubt one of the causes the place I’m at in my profession. I wouldn’t have realized as a lot if it wasn’t for his phrases of encouragement and motivation. He’s like a giant brother, a second dad. He talks to me about life outdoors of boxing. It’s a great feeling having somebody like him in your nook. He’s been in massive fights in his profession and he offers me recommendation. I’ve all confidence on this planet having Robert in my nook.”

A win over Zepeda (22-0, 20 KOs) would put Tanajara into contender standing. Tanajara is keen to face one of the best fighters at 135 kilos later this yr or in early 2022.

Whereas he admits he has but to hit his ceiling, Tanajara believes his expertise, work ethic, stage of sparring and having a coach like Robert Garcia is a successful mixture to at some point struggle for a significant title.

“This struggle goes to point out the world what sort of fighter I’m. I can see me preventing for a world title in a few fights. A win over Zepeda will certainly open extra days for me.

“I’m all the way down to face anybody. Combating [WBC beltholder  Devin] Haney can be probably the most ideally suited as a result of we each struggle on DAZN. I’d wish to struggle Ryan Garcia as properly. I do know these fights will turn out to be a actuality after I beat Zepeda and so long as I maintain successful.”

 

 

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Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has coated boxing in Southern California and overseas since 2000. Francisco additionally covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.

 

 

 

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