Great Things Are Expected of Diego Pacheco, a Rising Star from South Central LA


Powerful British promoter Eddie Hearn calls Diego Pacheco the future of the super middleweight division. Based on Pacheco’s showing last night in Monterrey, Mexico, Hearn isn’t blowing smoke.

Pacheco (19-0, 15 KOs) broke down and stopped Manuel Gallegos in the fourth frame. The future looks very rosy for the 22-year-old, six-foot-four power puncher who is a stablemate and sparring partner of David Benavidez and who represents gritty South Central Los Angeles where he was born and bred.

Gallegos, who like Pacheco is tall for the weight class, was 19-1-1 (16) heading in and had never been stopped. He pressed the action, but was out-gunned. In the fourth round, Pacheco put him down with a right hook to the body. And then, when Gallegos arose, Pacheco went for the kill, pinning him against the ropes and strafing him with a barrage of punches thar forced the referee to waive it off.

Hearn brought Pacheco out of the amateur ranks. As he’s moved him up, he’s also moved him around. Pacheco has fought in New York, in Liverpool, England, and in Dariyah, Saudi Arabia. Last night’s fight was his seventh in Mexico, the land of his forefathers.

Hearn says that Pacheco’s next fight will be in Los Angeles and that young Diego will be the headliner. He has fought only once in the City of Angels, in 2019, and that was a 4-rounder buried deep on a show topped by a 115-pound title fight between Juan Francisco Estrada and Wisaksil Wangek (aka Srisaket Sor Rungvisai).

Hearn also promotes New York super middleweight Edgar Berlanga who was let go by Top Rank. A match between Pacheco and the undefeated Berlanga would be easy to make, but Hearn undoubtedly wants to let that marinate. If they were to fight anytime soon, Pacheco would be favored, no matter the locale.


In the semi-windup, Mexico’s Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez (34-1-1, 31 KOs) moved one step closer to a match with WBC 130-pound title-holder O’Shaquie Foster with a third-round stoppage of late sub Hector Jesus Garcia. Hernandez had Garcia in dire straits in the waning seconds of round two and finished the job in the next stanza. Garcia was slumping to the canvas in a neutral corner when the referee intervened.

This was the sixth straight win for the 30-year-old Hernandez following an unexpected defeat to future world super featherweight titlist Roger Gutierrez who de-railed him with a one-punch, first-round notice. Although Garcia (20-8-4) took the fight on very short notice, he was a (relatively) credible opponent. He was training for a fight in Tijuana in two weeks and In previous bouts had taken Devin Haney the distance in an 8-rounder, and held Joseph Adorno to a draw in Atlantic City.


Diego Pacheco got to the arena early to see his younger brother compete. Federico Pacheco, 19, a beefy heavyweight, advanced to 4-0 with a second-round stoppage of sacrificial lamb Oscar Heredia Arias.

Photo credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom