When the level of competition rises, William Zepeda rises with it. Mercito Gesta was expected to push the 27-year-old. Winning was always going to be a difficult task but the long faded contender built his career on providing a stiff test to some of the division’s best. However, he had absolutely nothing for Zepeda.

The surging contender had it all clicking. His jab couldn’t miss, his right hand continually found the target, and his assaults to the body were pinpoint. As the rounds ticked by, the beating Zepeda began dishing out was getting hard to watch. With a sixth-round stoppage win, the highly-ranked contender has his eyes set on the best that the lightweight division has to offer.

In a perfect world, Zepeda (29-0, 25 KOs) would love to line up against Devin Haney. But, with the former undisputed lightweight champ officially moving up in weight to challenge Regis Prograis, Zepeda can kiss that dream goodbye.

Still, even with Haney packing his bags and exiting stage left, Zepeda has a ton of options. Gervonta Davis is a name that Zepeda wouldn’t mind facing soon. Oscar De La Hoya, Zepeda’s promoter, has closed the door on that possibility and is busy putting a chain around the door knob.

Simply put, at this stage, a showdown between them is a bit premature.

“It would be a great fight in time,” said De La Hoya to ESNEWS. “When William wins a world title.”

Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) is a flat-out superstar. But fans aren’t grabbing tickets and purchasing his pay-per-views just to show support. No, they tune in to see him lay his opponents out. And, more times than not, he does just that.

Just a few short months ago, the former multi-divisional champion permanently closed the mouth of Ryan Garcia, stopping him in the seventh round. De La Hoya knows what Davis is capable of. He took a ringside seat and gnashed his teeth as Garcia, another fighter he promotes, fought myopically.

Although Zepeda isn’t quite ready to make that leap, De La Hoya likes what he sees. A Davis fight will happen at some point according to the Hall of Famer. But his immediate goal should be winning a world title, something De La Hoya is confident will happen.

“He’s just getting better, he’s getting stronger, he’s getting faster, I love his footwork, his punching power. Believe me, William Zepeda will be a world champion very soon.”