Top junior welterweight contenders Richardson Hitchins and Jose Zepeda will battle it out this weekend to determine the next worthy challenger for a world title belt at 140 lbs. The bout will headline a DAZN card from the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida.
Hitchins (16-0, 7 KO) has already faced some notable opponents—including Malik Hawkins and Argenis Mendez— in his 16-fight run so far, but former title challenger Zepeda will most likely be the 25-year-old’s biggest test to date. Last timeout, Hitchins outpointed John Bauza over a lopsided 10 rounds in Madison Square Garden’s small room back in February.
Zepeda (37-3, 28 KO) is looking to earn his second consecutive win since losing via 11th-round knockout against current WBC titleholder Regis Prograis in November of last year. “Chon” was able to secure a bounceback victory earlier this year though, winning a unanimous decision over Neeraj Goyat in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Ranked no. 5 by the WBO and no. 7 by the IBF, Hitchins is likely a fight or two away from earning a shot at a major title belt, assuming he could get past Zepeda on Saturday. Zepeda, who is 0-3 in world title bouts, will be hoping to put himself in position for a fourth opportunity if he secures an upset win over Hitchins.
Fighter’s Form (last 5 fights):
John Bauza - WIN by UD (100-88, 100-88, 100-88) - 04/02/2023
Yomar Alamo - WIN by TKO after 8 - 12/11/2022
Angel Sarinana Rodriguez - WIN by TKO 4 - 21/05/2022
Malik Hawkins - WIN by UD (100-90, 97-93, 96-94) - 18/12/2021
Argenis Mendez - WIN by SD (99-91, 98-92, 93-97 - 12/12/2020
Neeraj Goyat - WIN by UD (100-90, 100-90, 100-90) - 25/03/2023
Regis Prograis - LOSS by KO 11 - 26/11/2022
Francisco Javier Perez - WIN by TKO 2 - 19/03/2022
Josue Vargas - WIN by TKO 1 - 21/30/2021
Henry Lundy - WIN by UD (99-92, 98-92, 98-92) - 22/05/2021
Date: September 23rd, 2023
Time: 1:00 am (GMT), 5:00 pm (PT), 8:00 pm (ET)
Venue: Caribe Royale, Orlando, Florida, USA
Elsewhere on the card
As a last-minute addition, the co-main event will feature welterweight contender Conor Benn (21-0, 14 KO), who will make his return to the ring against Rodolfo Orozco (32-3-3, 24 KO) after failing a pre-fight drug test last year. Also on the card is a women’s welterweight unification bout between Jessica McCaskill (12-3, 5 KO) and Sandy Ryan (6-1, 2 KO).