INSIDE THE RING: Holmes High School grads fighting in July

Kendo Castaneda and Hector Tanajara Jr. prepare for their bouts.

Kendo Castaneda and his team depart for Las Vegas on July 5, 2020 for his first fight since the coronavirus outbreak. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – Las Vegas has already hosted a pair of San Antonio fighters, one who took home a world title this summer.

Now Sin City greets “Tremendo” Castaneda for a second time.

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Kendo Castaneda (17-1, 8 KOs) will face Jose Zepeda (31-2, 25 KOs) on Tuesday at The Bubble at the MGM Grand. Their 10-round super lightweight bout will be the main event Tuesday evening live on ESPN.

“I got the call exactly seven days before the fight,” said Castaneda to KSAT 12 Sports on Saturday. “I have no worries at all taking this fight on short notice. I’m keeping myself ‘fight ready’ at all times.”

Castaneda had a different opponent set weeks ago but before either fighter could fly out to Las Vegas, Castaneda’s opponent contracted COVID-19 and the fight was called off. Zepeda will be the first challenger for “Tremendo” since he lost his first career fight in February by majority decision.

“I have changed nothing in preparation for this fight,” said Castaneda. “I’ve simply changed my whole ways for the better since my first defeat and have no worries fighting any top notch fighter!”

Castaneda is filling in for Ivan Baranchyk, who was originally set to fight Zepeda, before Baranchyk suffered a rib injury and had to drop out.

Team Castaneda left for Las Vegas Sunday afternoon and both fighters made weight Monday at 143.9 pounds.

Meanwhile, another Holmes High School alum, Hector Tanajara Jr., has announced his next bout.

Tanajara Jr. (19-0, 5 KOs) will face veteran Mercito Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KOs) on Friday, July 24 at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. The 10-round lightweight bout will be the co-main event live on DAZN, in which Tanajara Jr. will be defending his WBC USNBC Lightweight title. “El Finito” won the belt back in February 2019 and has successfully defended that belt twice.

The undefeated “El Finito” fought earlier this year, winning by unanimous decision over Juan Carlos Burgos in the Alamodome. The last time Gesta fought was in November of last year, a fight that ended in a technical decision. Gesta, who was born in the Philippines and now lives in San Diego, last won a bout in June of 2018.

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 Sports for over 17 years and is an award-winning sports producer. To submit story ideas, email

About the Author

Daniel P. Villanueva has been with KSAT 12 since 2003 and is the producer of our weekly sports show, "Instant Replay." Villanueva is a graduate of St. Mary's University and is a TAPB and Lone Star Emmy award winner.

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