July 7, 2023; Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico; Diego Pacheco and Manuel Gallegos during their fight at the Cintermex in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.
by Francisco Salazar |
Diego Pacheco is angling for a showdown against Edgar Berlanga, Jaime Munguia or other top super middleweights in the division. First he must get past Shawn McCalman in a clash of unbeatens on April 6.
Boxingscene’s Keith Idec was the first to report the story.
The 10-round bout will take place at a site to be determined, but will stream live on DAZN. The Pacheco-McCalman fight will be the co-featured bout on a Matchroom Boxing card that will be headlined by junior welterweight contender Richardson Hitchins facing an opponent to be determined in a likely IBF world title elimination bout.
The 22-year-old Pacheco (20-0, 17 knockouts), who currently trains in Renton, Washington, had a breakthrough 2023, notching three knockout victories to become a legit contender. Pacheco is currently rated No. 8 by The Ring at 168 pounds.
In his last bout on November 18, Pacheco knocked out former world title challenger Marcelo Coceres of Argentina in the ninth round. Pacheco overcame the more-experienced Coceres, showing a strong chin on his part as he broke down Coceres en route to the knockout win.
The victory over Coceres took place in Inglewood, California, not far from the South Central Los Angeles neighborhood he grew up in.
Pacheco has displayed more power and aggression in recent fights, having stopped his last nine opponents. He is currently trained by Jose Benavidez, Sr., who trains unbeaten super middleweight contender David Benavidez.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has mentioned a possible fight later this year between Pacheco and Berlanga, who faces Padraig McCrory on February 24. Other possible opponents for Pacheco could be Christian Mbilli, who stopped Rohan Murdock this past Saturday, or Vladimir Shishkiin, both of whom are unbeaten.
McCalman (15-0, 7 knockouts), who resides in the Denver, Colorado suburb of Aurora, last fought on December 16, defeating gatekeeper Cristian Olivas by decision over eight one-sided rounds.
In his previous fight on August 18, McCalman scored the biggest win of his career, on paper, defeating prospect Money Powell IV by unanimous decision. The 30-year-old is managed by Jolene Mizzone.
Hitchins (17-0, 7 KOs) is currently ranked No. 6 by The Ring at 140 pounds. He defeated former world title challenger Jose Zepeda by unanimous decision in his last bout on September 23.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]