Diego Pacheco Vs. Marcelo Coceres Headline This Saturday, November 18th On DAZN
By Yannis Mihanos: Super middleweight contender Diego Pacheco will be taking a scheduled ten round step-up fight against veteran Marcelo Esteban Coceres this Saturday night, November 18th, on DAZN at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California.
The 22-year-old Pacheco (19-0, 16 KOs), who his promoters at Matchroom Boxing view as the future star of the division, will be getting a stern test from the experienced 32-year-old Argentinian Coceres (32-5-1, 18 KOs).
Coceres has lost three out of his last four fights but against much better opposition than the type that the 6’4″ Pacheco has been facing. The always-tough Coceres has losses to these guys:
Meiirim NursultanovEdgar BerlangaErik BazinyanSebastian Horacio PapeschiBilly Joe Saunders
Coceres gave the former two-division world champion Saunders all he could handle before being stopped in the eleventh round in November 2019. Two years ago, Coceres came close to defeating Edgar Berlanga, dropping him in the ninth round.
Pacheco is ranked #3 WBO, #5 IBF, #6 WBC, and #8 WBA and has recent wins over Manuel Gallegos, Jack Cullen, Ricardo Adrian Luna, and Enrique Collazo.
Also on the card, WBA female world super bantamweight champion Mayerlin Rivas will defend her belt against Erika Cruz (16-2, 3 KOs).
Mayerlin Rivas vs. Erika Cruz HernandezDiego Pacheco vs. Marcelo Esteban CoceresKhalid Yafai vs. Jonathan RodriguezMarc Castro vs. Gonzalo FuenzalidaJalan Walker vs. Jorge Alberto VillegasArt Barrera Jr. vs. TBACriztec Bazaldua vs. Pedro Angel Cruz
Diego Pacheco could outgrow 168-lb division soon
“Pacheco at that size, it kind of reminds you a little of ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez at that size. You kind of forget because Zurdo is a cruiserweight now, but Zurdo was a super middleweight world champion at one time,” said Paulie Malignaggi to ProBox TV, discussing this Saturday’s fight between the towering 6’4″ Diego Pacheco against Marcelo Esteban Coceres on DAZN.
“That size and imposing physical figure does help you. Of course, Pacheco has 16 KOs), 19 wins, and an undefeated record is a guy who can have an imposing figure about himself in multiple ways,” said Malignaggi.
It’s too bad that Pacheco is just starting out because if he’d been around for 10+ years as a pro, he’d have a good shot at making life-changing money against undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
The 6’4″ Pacheco will likely need to move up to 175 soon, and he’ll not get a shot at fighting Canelo before he moves up. Matchroom needs to move Pacheco fast so he can get the opportunity to fight the popular guys like Caleb Plant before he outgrows the 168-lb division.
He’s NOT going to get a chance to fight Canelo because he’s facing established fighters that have been around, and Pacheco doesn’t have the experience.
“He’s a big guy, a knockout puncher, he’s undefeated, and he’s sort of ascending in a good manner. In an already talented weight class, Pacheco could be a fun addition to this,” said Malignaggi.
“I like him. He’s actually one of my top prospects. It looks like he’s moving into contender status,” said Tim Bradley. “This guy can box, his size, and he has an advantage over everybody. It almost seems like he has a cheat code himself because he’s so big, so larger than everyone.”
“Yeah, Pacheco is my top prospect going into that passing threshold into contender status,” said Chris Algieri. “I’ve had the chance to call at least three or four of his fights on the Matchroom undercards.
“I’ve interviewed him a bunch of times. He’s another one. A fantastic kid, really respectful, very mature. He’s only 22 years old, and he’s taken some real fights. Coceres is no walkover type of guy. He’s tough.
“He gave Edgar Berlanga all he could handle a couple of years back when Edgar tore his bicep in that fight and got dropped in that fight as well. He got up to win. Coceres is not a walkover. He’s one of those tough Argentinian guys that we’ve seen time and time ago.
Pacheco getting a good test
“So, I think this is a really good step up for Pacheco, and it’s also a name-guy who has been in with name-guys. He’s not quite a name guy, but he’s fought few of them. So what he can do with Coceres is more important than whether he wins because I’m pretty sure we all think he should get the win.”
If Coceres is still the fighter he was four years ago, he’s going to give Pacheco a run for his money, and that could make him struggle to get the win.
“What he’s able to do with Coceres is going to tell us a lot and his future and contender status,” said Algieri.
“I don’t think he’s a prospect anymore. He’s so young. He’s still 22, 23-years-old,” said Frank Smith to Matchroom Boxing, talking about Diego Pacheco. “He’s been with us since he was 17-years-old.
“Diego Pacheco, we believe, is going to rule that division [super middleweight] for a long, long time. He’s moved so quickly. He has a step-up opponent as well against Coceres next week. So, we’re excited to see him back out,” said Smith.
As long as David Benavidez and Canelo are around, Pacheco won’t be ruling the 168-lb division. He can be a good gatekeeper while they’re around and show that he’s the best contender in the weight class. Benavidez is going to need to move up soon, too, so the two could be in the same boat eventually.
“Marc Castro is another one that is on that card. Another young fighter that we need to step forward and keep building,” said Smith. “We’re excited because these are the kind of fighters that we want to work with.
“Diego wants to move quickly. He’s not far off. He’s calling out the big names, and he would happily fight the big names. So in 2024, I think you’re going to see some big fights involving him,” said Smith about Pacheco.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn needs to try to set up a fight between Pacheco with Caleb Plant, Berlanga, Jermall Charlo, and Jaime Munguia. Those are the names Pacheco needs on his resume.