Puerto Rico’s excellent former IBF super featherweight and lightweight world champion Jose Pedraza has his second outing of 2019 on the undercard of Tyson Fury vs Otto Wallin, which could give him the opportunity to steal the show seeing as he is fighting a live opponent in Californian Jose Zepeda (32-2-0).
The two losses on Pedraza’s 26-2-0, 13Ko’s record were to Gervonta Davis and Vasiliy Lomachenko, both of whom can be found in most boxing fans P4P top 10. Only the very best will beat Pedraza, he has all the tools to become a world champion for a third time. If the 30-year-old from Cidra, Puerto Rico had a bigger punch he might even have troubled Lomachenko in their December 2018 WBA/WBO world lightweight title fight, instead he lost by 117-109, 119-107, and 117-109 on the judges’ score cards.
This will be Pedraza’s first fight at 140lbs and he hasn’t chosen a soft opponent to test himself at the new weight. Jose Zepeda is the kind of fighter that could beat Pedraza if he can get him into a brawl. With a 30-2-0, 25 Ko’s record Zepeda poses a real threat, he has real power and will probably be physically stronger than his Puerto Rican opponent.
Zepeda lost by majority decision to Jose Carlos Ramirez for the WBC 140lb crown in February and there were those that thought he might have done enough to dethrone the man who went on to unify the WBC and WBO titles against Maurice Hooker in July, I wasn’t one of them, but Pedraza beware.
The other loss for Zepeda was to Terry Flanagan in Manchester in July 2015 when the Californian challenged for the champion’s WBO lightweight title. Flanagan was huge at the weight and was never beaten while he fought at 135lbs, but what was noticeable was that Zepeda tried to box from distance against his crafty southpaw opponent and was coming off second best before he suffered a dislocated shoulder injury, ending the fight in the 2nd round. He seemed to want to do the same with Ramirez who was having none of it, and made Zepeda brawl. That’s what made Zepeda so competitive in the fight, he was forced into a close quarter’s affair.
This is why, despite the fact that the Californian from La Puente, in Los Angeles County will be the bigger, and stronger man, I believe Pedraza’s superior boxing ability will see him through to victory.
Prediction: Jose Pedraza to win on points.