Jose Zepeda has a new opponent for his first fight since his incredible brawl with Ivan Baranchyk.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Zepeda will face Philadelphia’s Hank Lundy on May 22 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. ESPN will air the 10-round bout between Zepeda and Lundy as part of a three-fight telecast that’ll feature 140-pound champions Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor in the main event.
The 31-year-old Zepeda (33-2, 26 KOs, 2 NC), of La Puente, California, was supposed to meet Mexico’s Pedro Campa (32-1-1, 21 KOs) two weeks from Saturday night. The Nevada State Athletic Commission wouldn’t approve Campa as Zepeda’s opponent, however, which forced matchmakers for Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. to find a replacement.
The 37-year-old Lundy (31-8-1, 14 KOs) has seven more losses and is eight years older than Campa, but he has faced a much higher level of opposition. Undefeated three-division champion Terence Crawford, former WBC super lightweight champ Viktor Postol and contender Thomas Dulorme are among the fighters who’ve defeated Lundy.
Lundy won an eight-round unanimous decision against Argentina’s Ezequiel Fernandez (28-4-1, 3 KOs, 1 NC) in his most recent fight, which took place 14 months ago in Hockessin, Delaware.
The Zepeda-Lundy fight will be officially announced Wednesday, as will information regarding the limited number of tickets that’ll be made available for the Ramirez-Taylor card. This show will be the first of four cards ESPN will broadcast over a five-week span in May and June from the Las Vegas property once known as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
In addition to the Ramirez-Taylor and Zepeda-Lundy fights, ESPN’s tripleheader May 22 will include an eight-round bout that’ll feature Dominican junior welterweight prospect Elvis Rodriguez (11-0-1, 10 KOs) and Chicago’s Kenneth Sims Jr. (15-2-1, 5 KOs).
Zepeda survived four knockdowns to beat Baranchyk by fifth-round knockout in a brutal battle October 9 at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
The resilient Zepeda also dropped Russia’s Baranchyk (20-2, 13 KOs) four times during their unforgettable fight. His left hand emphatically ended their scheduled 10-round, 140-pound fight in the fifth round.
BoxingScene.com and numerous other outlets recognized Zepeda-Baranchyk as “Fight of the Year” for 2020.
Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs), of Avenal, California, and Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs), of Prestonpans, Scotland, will fight for Ramirez’s WBC and WBO 140-pound championships and Taylor’s IBF and WBA belts.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.