INSIDE THE RING: Hector Tanajara Jr. loses first career fight

Twentieth career bout ends in TKO win for Mexico’s William Zepeda

Hector Tanajara Jr. meets face-to-face with William Zepeda at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

LOS ANGELES – After an 18-month layoff, Hector Tanajara Jr. finally got a taste of being back in the ring in front of cheering fans.

On Friday night in Los Angeles, California, Tanajara Jr. (19-0, 5 KOs) faced Mexico’s William Zepeda (22-0, 20 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout for the vacant WBA Continental Americas Lightweight title belt.

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“El Finito” had a battle from the start, being on the defensive while Zepeda started a pressuring forward offense. Tanajana Jr. did a solid job avoiding the attack in the first round but as he moved to his left to avoid punches, Tanajara Jr. seemed to trip over the right leg and wide southpaw stance of Zepeda several times. Both fighters even slipped on the canvas early in the fight.

Zepeda showed what he could do starting in the second round with a blizzard of combinations to the head and body of Tanajara Jr. Zepeda rarely took time between his attacks and continued coming forward, pushing Tanajara Jr. against the ropes.

Despite the numerous hits, Tanajara Jr. delivered clean shots of his own, especially in the fourth round. Tanajara Jr. withstood solid punches from Zepeda and began to show signs of how he could quickly move out of harms way from the constant attack of his opponent.

The improvements in that round were short lived as Zepeda stepped on the gas in the fifth round and went after the San Antonio lightweight with a barrage of successful combinations. The bout would end with a technical knockout win for Zepeda after Robert Garcia, Tanajara’s trainer, stopped the fight after the sixth round.

Friday’s loss marks Tanajara’s twentieth career fight since turning pro back in 2015 and his first fight since the COVID-19 pandemic started in the United States.

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 for over 18 years and is an award-winning 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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