At MGM Grand in Las Vegas, former world champion Jose Pedraza made a statement to stay in contention for a world title shot as he was able to get a clear win over Mikkel LesPierre. Pedraza nearly shut out LesPierre in the fight as the scorecards read 100-88 and 99-89 twice as he scored two knockdowns en route to his 27th win of his career. LesPierre, who did contend for a world title but fell short against Maurice Hooker, receives his 2nd loss of his pro career.
This fight was originally scheduled for June 18th, but was cancelled at that time because LesPierre’s manager, Jose Taveras, tested positive for COVID-19. Top Rank was able to reschedule the bout, and Pedraza was impressive in his perfomance as he took the fight to LesPierre from the start. There was an instance where the competition was close in Round 4, but in Round 5 Pedraza was able to score the first knockdown of the fight. There was one that was initially scored for LesPierre but it was later ruled as a slip.
The momentum was still in Pedraza’s favor as he was able to continue his dominance over LesPierre. His punch output was too much for his opponent to deal with as Pedraza was able to land 129 power shots. After the fight, Pedraza gave props to LesPierre’s toughness.
“Mikkel was a tough,opponent, but I stuck to my game plan. I wanted the knockout, but he stayed strong in there. I give him a lot of credit.”
Pedraza feels that he is ready to become a world champion once again. He did lose the WBO title to Vasyl Lomachenko in 2018 but wants another crack at him or whoever holds a world title.
“I would like to fight any of the world champions, but we have to see what happens next,” Pedraza stated after the win over LesPierre. “I proved I belong with the top guys in the 140-pound division.”
Cover Photo by Mikey Williams of Top Rank