Pacheco: Headlining at home is a dream

Pacheco La
Photo: Melina Pizano/Matchroom

Unbeaten WBO #3, IBF #5, WBC #6, WBA #8 super middleweight Diego Pacheco (19-0 16 KOs) headlines for the third straight fight on Saturday night – but this time the stakes are raised as he welcomes Marcelo Coceres (32-5-1 18 KOs) to his Los Angeles hometown as they clash at YouTube Theater, live worldwide on DAZN.

Pacheco is looking to cap a brilliant 2023 with a third KO win as a bill topper, and this time in front of his hometown fans. The LA talent pummeled Jack Cullen into submission in four rounds in Liverpool, England, in April, and was at his scintillating best in his last outing in July where he blitzed the dangerous Manuel Gallegos inside four rounds in Monterrey, Mexico – ending matters with a vicious attack after flooring Gallegos in the fourth with a trademark body shot and became the first man to stop the Mexican later in the round.

The 22-year-old steps up once again against the Argentine Coceres who has previously tested Billy Joe Saunders and Edgar Berlanga. Pacheco is ready to dazzle on his doorstep and the latter is in his sights for next year.

“It’s so special to have a homecoming show,” said Pacheco. “It’s the most important fight of my career so far, it’s time for me to headline at home. I’ve headlined in the UK and in Mexico, so to be bringing everyone out to LA is surreal, I dreamt of this as a little kid and now I can’t wait to perform on Saturday and begin a while new chapter in my career. If Eddie told me I’m fighting Canelo, I feel I would give him a good fight. I want Edgar Berlanga next after this fight. I think I knock him out, cold.

“To be doing this at 22 is cool. I thought maybe I would headline in a world title fight when I was 24 or 25. This weekend it’s the YouTube Theater, hopefully down the line it will be the SoFi Stadium. It’s a five-minute drive from my mom’s house, so it’s perfect to be having my first headline show there.

“It’s been a great year for me. I unexpectedly became the main event in the UK in March, and I rose to the occasion and put on a great performance. The experience was great, fighting Cullen, he was a long fighter, but he didn’t have too much that fazed me or worried me at all, I just knew that I had to keep to the game plan, stick to my jab, stay sharp and the KO would come, and it did. I hit him with a few right hands that made him forget about the body, I went downstairs and got him out of there.

“I grew up in South Central LA. I always feel I owe this to my parents. They sacrificed a lot and believed in me before anyone else. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I am. I come from a low-income family so for my dad to get me to all the amateur tournaments meant a lot and made me think ‘how I am not going to give my all when they have sacrificed so much for me?’”

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