Here’s what we knew about Immanuwel Aleem and Jonathan Cepeda heading into their 160-pound clash last spring: Both fighters were a combined 32-1-0 with 24 knockouts. Here’s what we learned after eight insanely explosive rounds: Both fighters could throw and absorb a helluva punch.
So consistently ferocious was the April 19 battle between Immanuwel Aleem and Jonathan Cepeda in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, that we could’ve easily justified including half the rounds on this list.
Cepeda, a 32-year-old New Yorker who was coming off a 14-month ring hiatus, took the brunt of the abuse on this night, including in Round 7, when both men exchanged power shots in the pocket for nearly all three minutes.
Although Aleem frequently beat his opponent to the punch and landed the cleaner shots in this round, Cepeda ate the leather and returned fire with his own massive haymakers, several of which landed flush.
Despite the 24-minute detonation of heavy artillery, neither men hit the deck in a fight Aleem won by unanimous decision—proving once again that while knockdowns are nice, they aren’t required to produce a thrilling boxing match.
For a complete recap of Aleem vs Cepada, visit our fight page. And to view this year’s 12 Rounds of Christmas series, head over to our video page.