Kendo Castaneda Ready To Make A Name For Himself Against Jose Zepeda

At 26, Kendo Castaneda is living his dream. He gets to continue that tonight, July 7, when he faces off against Jose Zepeda. Inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Castaneda faces a former title contender in Zepeda.

Castaneda (17-1) is stepping up, as  Ivan Baranchyk injured himself before the fight. Speaking with Boxing Scene, Castaneda realizes Zepeda is the 5-1 favorite, but will not let that deter him from trying to put on a show.

“It’s a great opportunity to pursue my [lifelong] dreams,” Castaneda stated. “I just have to capitalize and come out victorious. I know it’ll be difficult against a great, outstanding boxer. But I’m ready for these types of fights. I’m ready for all the great challenges in the boxing ring, and I feel I can come out victorious by giving Zepeda a tough, rugged fight.”

Making his professional debut in 2012, Castaneda 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 Julian Rodriguez, before earning a shot a week before the fight.

Outside of competing, like most fighters the past few weeks, Castaneda has another job. A real “Average Joe”, Castaneda has used his work as motivation for the big fights.

“I’ve been a package handler for the past five years,” Castaneda ended up saying. “I’ll load one to two 18-wheelers, or I’ll unload three or four every morning. Five days a week, no matter what. And I’m sweating. I’m busting my ass moving weight. I can say I’ve moved more weight than ‘El Chapo,’ but the righteous way, the American way.”

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. While he is not taking his opponent lightly, Zepeda is already looking ahead when it comes to Baranchyk.

A lot of eyes are on fighters following their first career losses. For Castaneda, he is ready to break the odds against him.

“I feel like Zepeda just thinks he’s gonna out-box me easy because of my last performance,” Castaneda stated. “He thinks I’m just gonna try to come forward, put pressure on him. But my last fight, I had Alamo almost knocked out three times. I was just off… I won the fans over. I won the Puerto Rican fans over. But [Tuesday] night, I plan on displaying my full-dimensional skills I have inside that boxing ring. He’s a great fighter, and I can’t wait to display my skills against one of the top dogs in the sport of boxing at 140 pounds.”

The action begins on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET. 

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