Jose Pedraza, a two-division world champion after beating Ray Beltran
Puerto Rican lightweight Jose Pedraza became a two-division world champion and the best active Puerto Rican boxer by picking up a unanimous decision over Ray Beltran to claim the WBO lightweight title Saturday night at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
Pedraza just had more left as the 37-year-old Beltran, who was making his first world title defense at home struggled to deal with the length of Pedraza as he walked into shots eventually even getting dropped buy a left uppercut in the eleventh round.
“We did everything that we needed to do to win this fight. We followed the game plan perfectly,” Pedraza said. “I knew how tough this fight was going to be and at moments it got very difficult, but thanks to the focus and the guidance from my corner, we were able to win round by round and get the win.”
The win also makes Pedraza the most decorated current Puerto Rican fighter that is active right now though, Pedraza whether it is his style or something else, just can’t capture any buzz or excitement around the boxing world despite such an achievement.
The judges saw the bout 117-110, 117-110 and 115-112 all for Pedraza. The 115-112 card was not accurate at all.
Pedraza will now fight Vasiliy Lomachenko on December 1st in Lomachenko’s return to action after surgery. Lomachenko is coming off a knockout win over Jorge Linares to become a three-division world champion. The bout will be one of the last boxing shows of 2018.
In the co-main event, Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe knocked out Hidenori Otake at 2:18 of the first round to retain his WBO junior bantamweight world title. Dogboe (20-0, 14 KOs) knocked down Otake (31-3-3, 14 KOs) down twice in the round, and a follow-up flurry forced referee Chris Flores to call a halt to the bout.
Dogboe is coming off a terrific fight against Jessie Magdaleno, in which he won the WBO junior bantamweight world title, that saw Dogboe losing early only to come back late and stop Magdaleno.
“This was a great performance. I’m glad I got to showcase my skills on ESPN,” Dogboe said. I’m very thankful for the opportunity. I have a lot of respect for Otake for standing up after getting dropped. When I hit him with that powerful hook and dropped him the first time I felt the holy spirit.
“Now, I want to face all the champs. Let’s do this! I’m ready to unify all the titles.”
In the ESPN-televised six-round special attraction, Mikaela Mayer (7-0, 4 KOs) knocked down Edina Kiss in the first round en route to a third-round TKO after Kiss did not come out for the fourth round. Mayer, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, is proving to be quite the professional boxer as she is knocking out opponents that are typically in tough hard-fought bouts.
“I’m happy with my performance. I was technically sound,” Mayer said. “I thought I had it in the bag. I wanted to stop her. If I had one more two more rounds, I would’ve finished it.”
A title fight could be very soon for Mayer at this pace.
Super featherweight Robson Conceicao (9-0, 5 KOs), unanimous decision, 8 rounds, Edgar Cantu (7-5-2, 1 KO). Scores: 80-71, 80-71, 80-71. It was a typical Conceicao performance a one-sided domination with a knockdown added just for fun.
After the bout, Conceicao explained he wanted to go all eight-rounds and is now ready for a ten-round fight. Cocceicao was 2016 Olympic gold medalist.
Super bantamweight Carlos Castro (21-0, 9 KOs) got an eight-round unanimous decision over 8 battle-tested Diuhl Olguin (12-12-2, 9 KOs). The judges saw the bout 80-72, 79-73, 77-75.
Featherweight Francisco De Vaca (19-0, 6 KOs) got an eight-round decision over Jesus Serrano (17-7-2, 12 KOs).
Lightweight Antonio Lozada Jr. (40-2-1, 34 KOs) fought to an eight-round draw with Hector Ambriz (12-7-2, 6 KOs). Lozada Jr. is the man to stop Felix Verdejo earlier this year. The judges scored the bout 78-74 Lozada, 79-73 Ambriz, 76-76. Lozada Jr. might fight boxing sensation Teofimo Lopez next.
Light heavyweight Trevor McCumby (24-0, 19 KOs) got a third-round knockout over Jessie Nicklow (27-9-3, 9 KOs). Nicklow was stopped on his feet.
Bantamweight Breenan Macias (3-0, 2 KOs) picked up a quick second-round knockout of Philip Adyaka (7-12, 4 KOs).
Super Welterweight Sagadat Rakhmankul (3-0, 1 KO) scored a six-round decision over Christian Aguirre (7-3, 3 KOs). The judges saw it 60-54, 59-55, 59-55.
Super lightweight Arnold Barboza Jr. (19-0, 7 KOs) TKOed Luis Solis (23-10-4, 20 KOs) in the fifth round.