Jaime Arboleda was all business as he offered a glimpse of what he plans to offer this weekend.
An uphill challenge awaits the lean lightweight from Miami by way of Curundu, Panama, who faces red-hot contender William Zepeda. The two boxers posed in an obligatory staredown at the end of their media workout held Wednesday at Maple Avenue Boxing Gym in Dallas, mere miles from College Park Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington where they will meet atop a DAZN event this Saturday.
The light but determined mitt work he performed in the ring was all the talk Arboleda had to offer, as he was all business during the media function.
“We are going to show this Saturday that the Arboledas still have much to give to this very difficult sport,” noted Arboleda.
Zepeda (27-0, 23KOs) is listed as a whopping -2000 favorite by bet365 sportsbook, who has Arboleda (19-2, 14KOs) as a +900 underdog to shock the world this weekend.
The 28-year-old lightweight has won three straight since a one-sided eleventh-round knockout to then-unbeaten Chris Colbert in December 2020. All three victories have taken place in Panama, versus the type of opposition he was meant to beat. Even at that, he had to survive a knockdown and sweat out a majority decision in a victory over the Dominican Republic’s Nicolas Polanco last January 13. He was far more dominant in an eight-round virtual shutout of countryman Jhonatan Arenas in his most recent bout last August 26 in Bella Vista, Panama.
A win on Saturday would be considered a massive upset. Arboleda’s viewpoint, however, is that it would mark a return to his once mighty promise.
“I come from a boxing family; my father, brothers, uncles and many other loved ones have dedicated their time to the sport,” noted Arboleda. “I continue the family's legacy in boxing.”
Prior to his pro career, Arboleda was a prominent member of the Panamanian national team. He had roughly 130 fights and was the national champion in 2012, two years before his June 2014 pro debut. His older brother, Jesus, was imprisoned at the time before returning to the ring in 2017 following his release.
Arboleda’s father and uncle also boxed, as did another older brother whose career promise ended in a fatal car crash more than a decade ago.
As for his own career, the youngest Arboleda remains all business. He hit the mitts and pads on Wednesday with the same determination as if it were fight night. A steady, menacing stare was offered to his unbeaten opponent in his best effort to provide the focus and determination he carries into this weekend.
"There really isn't much more to say except that we are going to give fans a big show this April 29,” promised Arboleda.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox