Diego Pacheco was impressive again tonight, stopping tough veteran Manuel Gallegos in the fourth round of their DAZN main event from Monterrey.
Pacheco (19-0, 16 KO) dropped the aggressive Gallegos (19-2-1, 16 KO) in that fourth round, then finished him off when the fight resumed, unloading on a still-wobbly Gallegos until the referee smartly stepped in to stop the fight at 2:45 of the round.
The 22-year-old Pacheco still has many steps to go up the 168 lb ladder, of course, but he just keeps passing these tests with flying colors, and should no doubt be on your radar for future real contenders at the weight.
“I’m just that guy. I feel I’ve been showing it every fight, I’m getting better, I’m getting wiser, I’m getting stronger. The opposition keeps getting better and it brings the best out of me,” he said post-fight.
“That was such a good performance,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Don’t forget, we’ve been watching this young man grow from 17 years of age. We’re so proud of him. This was a small ring in here tonight. Gallegos is a big 168 lber, strong, he’s got a great chin. It was the composure, it was the shot selection. We knew the chin was like granite — work to the body, chop him down. This young man is going all the way.”
Hearn said that Pacheco will return home for a main event in Los Angeles next, and called him “the future” of the division.
“We want someone in the top 15,” Hearn said of Pacheco’s next opponent. “He’s still 22. He talks about Edgar Berlanga, Jaime Munguia. Those are big fights for 2024. I want to finish the year with a big fight in Los Angeles against a credible opponent.”
As always, we have to note that there are about a million “top 15s” in the boxing world, and the four that matter (WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO) are not necessarily populated by what anyone would call the top 15 fighters in any division.
Pacheco vs Gallegos highlights
Undercard highlights and results
- Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez TKO-3 Hector Garcia (0:25): An odd fight to take much from. Hernandez was supposed to fight Joniker Tovar, who was announced as his opponent at the weigh-in on Friday. David Diamante then got some word off-stage, and it was instead Hector Garcia, who came in very late, and with the fight bumped to a 137 lb limit instead of 130, where Hernandez fights normally and was supposed to fight Tovar. So give Garcia (20-8-4, 13 KO) credit for stepping in and taking a daunting matchup and saving someone’s fight. But Hernandez (34-1, 31 KO) just cracked him in round two, and while amazingly, Garcia didn’t go down there, he was still rocked coming out for the third, and the referee stopped it as soon as he was headed down near the ropes. Rocky’s a good signing for Matchroom, low-risk and potential high-reward.
- Jonathan Rodriguez D-10 Israel Gonzalez (94-96, 95-95, 96-94): Just a really, really good fight at 115, between two guys who looked well-matched on paper, have been tough contenders without reaching that very top level, and promised action. We got action, we got swings of momentum, we got a fascinating amount of low blows from Gonzalez that Rodriguez basically never complained about and the referee said nothing about. Tough, tough fight, and hard to pick a winner, which the three judges ultimately could not. I had it 96-94 for Gonzalez, but the draw does not bother me at all. Gonzalez is now 28-5-2 (11 KO), and Rodriguez is 24-2-1 (16 KO). I’d be thrilled to see them run it back on any Matchroom show anywhere.
- Neider Valdez KO-3 Isaias Ortiz (1:50): Valdez, 22, might be someone to keep an eye on at 105/108, young and isn’t any great defensive fighter, but that power is real, he’s now 9-0-2 (8 KO) and ended this one with a terrific body shot in the third round.
- Federico Pacheco Jr TKO-3 Oscar Heredia (0:01): Diamante announced it as a stoppage “at the beginning of round three,” but it was really a stoppage after the end of round two. Whatever. Here’s the thing: It doesn’t really matter. Pacheco, 19, is Diego’s younger brother, a heavyweight who will, to be kind, either need to have Tyson Fury-like weirdo ability (and that doesn’t seem to be the case), or he might want to tighten up the old physique, which he does have time to do. I’m not saying he has to be a lean, cut bodybuilder, but probably more that direction than what he is right now. But he is just a boy! Just a kid! He’s a child!