As the boxing world eagerly anticipates the November 18th showdown at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California, the focus narrows on a pivotal super middleweight bout. Here, young gun Diego Pacheco faces off against the gritty veteran Marcelo Esteban Coceres, in a clash streamed on DAZN that promises to be a defining moment in their careers.
At 22 years, Pacheco’s unblemished record (19-0, 16 KOs) speaks volumes about his potential. Touted by Matchroom Boxing as the division’s future star, this fight is more than a stepping stone; it’s a litmus test against the battle-hardened Coceres, who at 32 holds a record of 32-5-1 with 18 KOs. Despite Coceres’ recent struggles, losing three of his last four fights, it’s important to contextualize these defeats. His opponents – Meiirim Nursultanov, Edgar Berlanga, and notably Billy Joe Saunders – are of a caliber that Pacheco has yet to encounter.
Paulie Malignaggi, an astute observer of the sport, draws an intriguing comparison between Pacheco and former super middleweight champion ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez, focusing on Pacheco’s imposing 6’4” stature. “Pacheco at that size, it kind of reminds you a little of ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez at that size. You kind of forget because Zurdo is a cruiserweight now, but Zurdo was a super middleweight world champion at one time,” Malignaggi notes, highlighting the physical advantages Pacheco brings to the ring.
But Malignaggi also underscores the challenges ahead for Pacheco: “It’s too bad that Pacheco is just starting out because if he’d been around for 10+ years as a pro, he’d have a good shot at making life-changing money against undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.” This observation points to the need for Pacheco to rapidly build his resume, especially with a potential move to 175 looming and the prospects of facing top-tier opponents like Caleb Plant diminishing with time.
Tim Bradley, another voice of experience, sees Pacheco’s current trajectory as promising. “He’s a big guy, a knockout puncher, he’s undefeated, and he’s sort of ascending in a good manner. In an already talented weight class, Pacheco could be a fun addition to this,” Bradley states, recognizing Pacheco’s burgeoning prowess.
Chris Algieri, having witnessed Pacheco’s development, comments on his progression and the challenge Coceres presents: “Yeah, Pacheco is my top prospect going into that passing threshold into contender status,” Algieri says. “Coceres is no walkover type of guy. He’s tough. He gave Edgar Berlanga all he could handle a couple of years back.”
Frank Smith, representing Matchroom Boxing, expresses a firm belief in Pacheco’s ascendancy, though he acknowledges the looming shadows of David Benavidez and Canelo Alvarez in the 168-lb division. “Diego Pacheco, we believe, is going to rule that division [super middleweight] for a long, long time. He’s moved so quickly,” Smith remarks, setting high expectations for Pacheco’s near future.
In addition to Pacheco’s bout, the card features other intriguing matchups, including WBA female world super bantamweight champion Mayerlin Rivas defending her title against Erika Cruz. The entire event promises to be a thrilling spectacle for boxing fans.
In the broader context, this event is more than just another entry in the fight calendar. It’s a critical juncture for Pacheco – a moment to shine or falter under the bright lights. For Coceres, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate his resilience and possibly upset the plans of a rising star.
The outcome on November 18th will reverberate far beyond the confines of the YouTube Theater, shaping the future trajectories of both fighters in this ever-evolving and merciless sport.