Veteran ex-titleholder Jose Pedraza remains to be going sturdy, because the Puerto Rican stopped Julian Rodriguez after eight rounds on tonight’s ESPN present from Las Vegas, shifting ahead together with his profession within the 140 lb division.
Pedraza (29-3, 14 KO) led 78-74 on our unofficial scorecard after eighth, when Rodriguez (21-1, 14 KO) advised his nook he couldn’t see together with his eyes too badly swollen, resulting in the nook stoppage.
Pedraza, 32 and a former titlist at 130 and 135, has rebounded extraordinarily effectively from his 2019 loss to Jose Zepeda, which was his first battle at 140. There have been questions then about whether or not Pedraza was simply in over his head and preventing too heavy, however with three straight wins now, Pedraza has fairly clearly proven he can undoubtedly battle on this division, and he simply misplaced to a very good opponent that evening.
For the 26-year-old Rodriguez, this was an enormous step up. He missed weight on Friday and blew off the burden examine on Saturday, and whereas he had moments right here and there, Pedraza was largely accountable for the battle, holding the tempo the place he wished it, in addition to the space. His jab — each orthodox and out of the southpaw stance he switched to over the latter portion of the battle — was in a position to hold him the place he wished, and hold Rodriguez the place he wished him, too, which is at the least as vital.
Rodriguez’s eyes have been swelling from early within the battle, and whereas his nook did a very good job holding it in examine, the veteran knew what to focus on, and did so. Pedraza actually by no means over-extended himself on this battle, trying actually snug within the final couple of rounds particularly, as if he knew he had this one within the bag, there to be received. And it was.
It’s a giant setback for Rodriguez and the final couple days in all probability didn’t endear him to his promoter a lot, both. He now has to determine if he desires to buckle down at 140 or transfer as much as 147. For Pedraza, he simply stays proper within the combine at 140. There are good fights to make, and if/when Josh Taylor vacates all 4 of his belts later this 12 months, he may discover himself in a title battle.