Jose Pedraza Signs Deal with Top Rank
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: March 01, 2018
Those who were wondering what happened to former IBF 130-pound champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (22-1, 12 KOs) have found their answer. Pedraza, whose hometown is in Cidra, Puerto Rico has signed a promotional agreement with Top Rank.
Pedraza was last seen in the ring the victim of a brutal seven round beating at the hands of Gervonta Davis (19-0, 18 KOs). The bout took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York in January 2017. The loss put an end to a disappointing title run that saw Pedraza battle with large segments of inactivity. After winning his first world title against Andrey Klimov (20-4, 10 KOs) in June 2015, Pedraza fought just once in 2016 and 2017. During this period, the Puerto Rican fighter was having trouble with promoter Lou Dibella and his advisor Al Haymon.
After spending now 13-months out of the ring, Pedraza will make his return under the Top Rank banner in March or April. There will be plenty of options awaiting Pedraza as he makes his way up to the lightweight division. It is possible that Pedraza could receive a title shot against recently crowned WBO lightweight champion Ray Beltran. WBO 130-pound champion Vasyl Lomachenko will be making his move into the lightweight division and could end up facing Pedraza. Top Rank also promotes young Puerto Rican star Felix Verdejo that could set up an all Puerto Rican showdown.
The move to Top Rank could prove to be beneficial for Pedraza as the company has a history of promoting Hispanic fighters. Top Rank promoted four-division world champion Miguel Cotto for a vast majority of his career-propelling him to be the biggest star from the island since Felix Trinidad. For the past few years, Pedraza’s career has felt dormant. Now with another opportunity in front of him, the Puerto Rican anticipates his return to the ring.
(Feature Photo: Bryan Anderson/AP)