A new story from SI Boxing with Chris Mannix
Yeah, I love Williams a beta I've loved him ever since I saw him for the first time fight on that ring city series during the pandemic and you know He really has come a long way since then I mean earned his place in the Golden Boy stable with that win over Tana Hara Tana Hara at that point was You could argue he was the a side of that fight He was the prospect at that time Williams a paid it went in and and beat him down pretty badly He's only done great things since then I do I do think Williams a paid as good as he is is Vulnerable to one specific type of fighter. I think the paid is vulnerable to power counter punches or guys that can punch in between punches We haven't seen Zepeda in against those guys yet a Tana Hara can't punch Renee Alvarado can't punch not at 135 anyway Jojo Diaz not a puncher, you know, even mercito has to not a puncher he hasn't been in with that guy, but that type of guy and You know good for Golden Boy for you know Leak guiding him in the way that they have but I do want to see what happens when Zepeda goes in with a counter puncher because he leaves himself a little bit open their core I don't know how much you you were picking up on that during the fight or how much you you buy into that but You know when I see Zepeda just unfurl, you know, eight ten twelve punch combinations, which are just you know majestic to watch at times not to get too carried away, but He's open and if he goes up against a guy Let's use your Vonta Davis as an example and that might be the most extreme extreme because he's probably the best Counter puncher not just in the lighter divisions, but all the boxing when it comes to power. I think he has a problem there I do I think he's gonna have to learn To be a little more defensive because when I like has to a couple of times during that fight I saw him clip Zepeda with counter shots. And if you're getting clipped by has to punch that's one thing if you're going in with a Gervonta Davis a Shakur Stevenson if you move up and wait, maybe Ryan Garcia could be in his future that's something you've got to be wary of I mean how significant a a I don't call it an issue because he's undefeated and he's dominating but you know How much of that is a kind of weakness in his game at this point? I mean that that is his weakness and that is that's the conceit that he's allowing here because if you are gonna throw 120 punches your hands aren't gonna be anywhere near your face most of the time That's just it. You can't really have it both ways now. Can he make some adaptations? Maybe carry his hands a little bit higher You know dip the volume down a little bit places punches a little bit more Maybe you know, maybe he can you know that the Williams the pay to the fought? Jojo Diaz when the bulk of his punches that he was throwing were jabs That's that's a little more defensively responsible version of willing to pay that but I think against Hesta He decided that he didn't have to do that at all I mean when you look at the the numbers that he was putting up that round three in particular Landing 79 punches in a round and I think 69 of them were power punches That's that's a full-on selling out for volume and power and it's a lot of fun to watch But yeah, of course, I mean so paid it does get in and he got hit by Hesta but he was just able to walk through it and He showed a good chin in doing that but we have seen Williams have paid a buzz before so there is a little bit of vulnerability but you know, I want to go back to that performance because it it That wasn't just a guy who was retreating to the ropes and just was there to be hit That was a pretty good fighter in Brazil has to who was throwing back and was landing good sharp shots And Zepeda was able to throw nonetheless So that was that's that's not you know, looking at the the undercard, you know Darius Folger and fought like Ricardo Luna and I think you texted me afterwards something about Luna. I'm with Ricardo Yeah, right, like that's that's a pun. You know, I've seen some people say yeah, it's impressive But you know, he was in there with a punching bag. We're seeing oh Hesta's not a punching bag He had ideas. He just ran out of real estate He was throwing punches Mercedo Hester was still throwing like 60-plus punches around but he was still getting doubled up by this guy This is an extreme physical test for anyone But yeah, I think that when when he gets in there with someone like Gervonta Davis or a Shakur Stevenson You know guys that have pop and could counter that's when things will get truly interesting for him No, I spent a little bit of time with us a couple of weeks ago at wildcard I know we had a plan like he and Marvin Samodio had I thought a Reasonable game plan for this fight. They knew they were gonna have to punch with him They knew to have to counter with him Yeah, it's just unfortunately that you know He has to just does not have the power to get the attention of a Williams to pay it And I thought it was it was notable early on you see Hesta smiling and laughing when when Zepeda is throwing punches I think Jojo said something during the broadcast where he said Some of the extent of you know Zepeda is not the most powerful guy in the world But it's just an accumulation of punches like, you know, the first, you know, 10-15 shots You might say this guy's never a lot of pop all of a sudden you're getting hit with like a hundred two hundred three hundred Within three or four rounds and you know, your night is is ultimately over so let's talk about the future for Williams a paid it because There's some pie-in-the-sky stuff out there golden boys talking about Tank Davis. That's not gonna happen Let's let's just be real here. Tank Davis is not fighting Williams a paid at any point time over the next six to twelve months Williams a paid in his team. They want Devin Haney I am not uncertain there Cory to say that Williams a paid it is not in the plans of Devin Haney in the Near or perhaps even long-term future Devin Haney is at 140 pounds. He is aligning himself with matchroom He's got a plan there to collect titles. Williams a paid a is not on the radar of Devin Haney So now you have to start thinking about what the best path is and look it's easy to throw out Shakur Stevenson as an opponent and I think that would be an excellent fight but if I'm golden boy the first thing I'm doing this week is I am lobbying the IBF hard because Williams a paid a is ranked number six in the IBF rankings the IBF for whatever it's worth there a Sanctioning body that kind of goes by the letter of its laws right like part of that's because they got rated back in the 1990s But there are a sanctioning body that does follow the rules so the top two contenders for that hundred and thirty five pound title, which is currently occupied by Devin Haney, but Devin is not going to be going back down to 135 to defend it It's it's available it's available to be had if I'm golden boy I am pushing hard to get Williams a paid a in one of those top two slots right now The number one spot is vacant. The number two spot is held by George kambosis and if I'm Golden boy, I'm thinking kambosas are he's pretty good But he's another guy without a lot of power and that's another guy's a paid a would have a great chance of just out Volume punching over the course of that fight So my advice to golden boy would be to aggressively lobby the people at the IBF To move the paid a from number six up to number two or even number one There are obviously some guys in between there but like he saw Cruz is between there and he saw Cruz is not gonna fight You know George kambosis He's gonna most likely get a shot at tank Davis maxi Hughes is there and I think we'd all like to see maxi Hughes Get another opportunity at some point because of how the kambosis fight went But you know it's a paid it with this win should leapfrog him. I think golden boy should be aggressive with this man I think getting a shot at the IBF version of the lightweight title and a shot at fighting George kambosis is the best chance the pay to can get a belt and if he gets that belt a Lot of other things start to open up for him at 135 you can start making cross-promotional deals You can start talking about a shakur Stevenson fight for a lot more money I think the focus should be on getting that IBF title and getting into a position to fight George kambosis Yeah, I mean, that's that would be a fantastic plan if they can enact that and you're right. I mean without a title None of these other big names have any reason to want to fight Williams the painter for one, you know He doesn't bring a ton to the table economically right now But also he's not a fun style to step in there against if you don't have something that you're going to win For for your efforts So but again like thinking of those names Chris like you have to like some paid-as-chances Of picking up a title if those are the types of guys that he would have to get through You know if you put them in there with an Esau Cruz or a maxi Hughes or a George kambosis I like some paid-as-chances in all those fights, you know, and you know I don't love making predictions because I never know whose fight I'm gonna call and they might call me afterwards and say hey You said I was gonna lose to someone but listen I get that all the time. Don't worry. Yeah I I wouldn't think you were out of line for picking Zepeda against any of those guys or even feeling confident in his Chances against any of those guys pretty in and kimbosis included so if they can make that happen then yeah things can start to open up for him if he holds a title belt because One thing Zepeda will have behind him again He doesn't have the the name recognition as of yet But he is that fan base is starting to grow you're you're seeing when he fights that like the timeline is starting to light Up a little bit. I frankly was surprised by the crowd that he brought out in Los Angeles and you know you and I have been to many fights at that commerce casino and Sometimes you'll see the crowd kind of dissipate because there are a lot of local ticket sellers and people will leave after their fighters have fought Everyone stuck around for William Zepeda. He was someone that the masses that were there wanted to see So I think that he is developing a following that those types of fighters will develop fans want to see them Get a crack at someone and fans love volume punchers like that because people feel that volume and pressure is kind of an antidote for The the slick boxers out there. They want to see guys like that test someone and if Zepeda can pick up a title He's gonna have the momentum that he needs to get even bigger fights Yeah Just to clarify women's beta right now number six in the IBF rankings maxi Hughes as I said number five He saw Cruz number four, but see Lomachenko at number three But he's indicated he's done for the rest of the calendar year and kambosis at number two with the number one spot currently vacant you've got a You got to make that your priority in my opinion. If you're golden boy, you've got to get him a title there There are other opportunities you look at the WBO rankings and you know Zepeda is right there as well but a couple more people ahead of him including the guy that you You call this fight. Angel Fierro is up there in the top five the WBO rankings But I just think Zepeda has got to look to get that IBF title shot You get that get an opportunity to beat George Campos a tough fight. Campos is good But again doesn't have fight changing power and that's the ant that's the kryptonite I think to William Zepeda as he gets into with these guys down the line. All right, so we will be in Orlando this weekend to call the Hitchens Jose Zepeda fight also in Orlando this week Will be Edgar Berlanga the undefeated super middleweight contender last seen beating Jason Quigley at Madison Square Garden Berlanga will be there to discuss his future with his promoter Eddie Hearn his manager Keith Conley I believe will also be there as well and from what I understand One of the top priorities of that meeting is to find a way to make it financially palatable For Edgar Berlanga to fight Jaime Munguia This is the fight we've been talking about really since Berlanga beat Jason Quigley It is a very easy to fight to make in terms of boxing politics Munguia is aligned with golden boy Berlanga, of course aligned with matchroom It is a tremendous fight either in New York or Southern California in terms of ticket sales right now there's some distance between what Berlanga wants and behind it presumably zone is willing to pay Edgar Berlanga, but Cory Berlanga to me has to find a way to say yes here has to find a way to say yes you look at his resume and He's highly ranked in among some of the sanctioning buys, but he's 26 years old He's 21 to know his last five fights have come against Jason Quigley Alexis Angulo Steve rolls your guy Marcelo Coseras and Daman Nicholson not exactly a murderers row of opponents you know to me if you're Berlanga, you're at a point where It's it's kind of put up or shut up.