Jose Zepeda was involved in a car accident Monday in Southern California, just five days before the junior welterweight contender is scheduled to fight Regis Prograis for a vacant championship.
Rene Zepeda, Jose’s brother and co-manager, confirmed to BoxingScene.com that Zepeda didn’t suffer any injuries as a result of the accident. It prevented Zepeda from traveling Monday to a media workout at Churchill Boxing Club in Santa Monica, where other boxers on the card promoted the pay-per-view event he’ll headline, but the accident is not expected to impact Zepeda’s 12-round fight with Prograis on Saturday night in Carson, California.
The 33-year-old Zepeda (35-2, 27 KOs, 2 NC), of La Puente, California, and Prograis (27-1, 23 KOs), a New Orleans native who resides in Katy, Texas, are set to square off in a pay-per-view main event at Dignity Health Sports Park (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT; $59.99). Zepeda, who is ranked number one by the WBC in the super lightweight division, and the second-ranked Prograis, a 33-year-old former WBA champion, will fight for one of the three titles former fully unified 140-pound champion Josh Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) gave up earlier this year.
Assuming the Zepeda-Prograis fight doesn’t result in a draw or a no-contest, the winner will be obligated to make two mandatory defenses of the WBC 140-pound crown, as per WBC rules.
Third-ranked Jose Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs), who lost his WBC belt to Taylor by 12-round unanimous decision in May 2021, is the first mandatory challenger the Zepeda-Prograis winner will be obligated to fight. The WBC’s second mandatory challenger will be determined by the outcome of its 10-round elimination match December 10 between fourth-ranked Teofimo Lopez (17-1, 13 KOs) and fifth-ranked Sandor Martin (40-2, 13 KOs) at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.