Jose Zepeda-Kendo Castaneda Confirmed, Carlos Takam To Replace Jarrell Miller For Upcoming Top Rank Cards

Boxing’s upcoming schedule will feature several changes to some fights as a new week approaches.

In a release, it was announced that Jose Zepeda will face off against Kendo Castaneda in a junior-welterweight bout on Tuesday, July 7. On July 9, Carlos Takam will be a replacement fighter as he faces off against fellow heavyweight Jerry Forrest.

“In the main events, you have four fighters hoping to seize an amazing opportunity live on ESPN,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Jose Zepeda is one of the world’s elite 140-pounders, and I credit Kendo for taking on this challenge. I believe Carlos Takam can climb the heavyweight rankings again, and most importantly, he is a fan-friendly fighter who is guaranteed entertainment.”

Including the main and co-main events of the evening, here are the full cards for the July 7 and 9 events, all airing on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET:

July 7

  • Main Event – Jose Zepeda v. Kendo Castaneda

Zepeda (31-2, 2NC) is 1-1 in his last three fights with one no-contest. He last fought in September, beating Jose Pedraza via unanimous decision. The 31-year-old is looking to get back into title contention following a loss to WBC Light-Welterweight Champion Jose Ramirez in February 2019.

“I’m ready to fight on July 7, whether it’s Ivan Baranchyk, or any of the other fighters in the 140-pound division,” Zepeda said. “I’ve trained for July 7 since early May, so no matter who’s in the opposite corner, I’ll be ready. I’m a professional. I’m coming to MGM Grand ready to prove, once again, why I’m one of the elite junior welterweights.”

Castaneda (17-1) is coming off of a loss back in February against Yomar Alamo. It was the first loss of his career, for the WBO NABO Super-Lightweight Title. He was booked for another fight in July for Top Rank, against an unnamed opponent, before replacing an injured Ivan Baranchyk. The 26-year-old made his professional debut in 2012.

The co-main event will feature Andy Vences v. Luis Alberto Lopez. Vences (23-1-1) won his last bout against Mark Bernaldez via unanimous decision. He is 3-1 in his last four fights. Lopez (20-2) has won three fights in a row, all via knockout. The 26-year-old will be making his Las Vegas debut.

  • Andres Cortes (12-0) v. Alejandro Salinas (10-3)
  • Genaro Gamez (9-1) v. Reymond Yanong (11-5-1)
  • Eric Puente (2-0) v. Diego Elizondo (2-1-2)
  • Gabriel Muratalla (3-0) v. Sergio Lopez (4-5-3)

July 9 

  • Main Event – Carlos Takam v. Jerry Forrest

Takam (38-5-1) is a former WBF Heavyweight Champion. The 39-year-old Cameroonian-born star is on a three-fight win streak, last beating Fabio Maldonado in February. He is replacing Jarrell Miller, who was caught again with performance-enhancing drugs in his system.

Said Star Boxing’s Joe DeGuardia: “I am thrilled the ESPN audience will be able to see Carlos Takam on July 9. Takam-Forrest is a significant fight in a hot heavyweight division. Carlos is a true pro, and he didn’t let the Oscar Rivas pull-out affect him. He stayed ready and now can jump in on less than two weeks’ notice to capitalize on this opportunity. This will be his third fight in less than a year, and kudos to him as he is a fighter who wants to stay active.”

Forrest (26-3) is coming off of a knockout win against Martez Williamson in September. It was a rebound following his first loss in 18 fights against Jermaine Franklin.

The co-main event will feature Carlos Castro v. Cesar Juarez. Castro (25-0) made his pro debut in 2012. After winning three fights in 2019, the 26-year-old beat Jesus Ruiz in February for the WBC Continental Americas Super-Bantamweight Title. Juarez (25-8) is coming off of a TKO-loss at the hands of Angelo Leo in December. That was his fourth fight of 2019, where he went 2-2.

  • Jared Anderson (4-0)
  • Fred Wilson Jr. (6-0-2) v. Ashton Sykes (5-3)
  • Robin Sirwan Safar (10-0) v. DeShon Webster (12-3-2)
  • Peter Cortez (2-1)
  • Joshafat Ortiz (7-0) v. Joshua Orta (6-0)
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