Jose Pedraza Wins Unanimous Decision over Antonio Moran in Bloody Battle
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: June 11, 2018
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – On the undercard of Terence Crawford’s dissection of Australia’s Jeff Horn to win the WBO welterweight title, fans saw the return of former IBF 130-pound champion, Jose Pedraza. Pedraza would be (24-1, 12 KOs) in his second lightweight bout and his second bout under the Top Rank promotional banner.
Pedraza, who hails from Cidra, Puerto Rico has been known for having promotional issues with long stretches of inactivity. Now under Top Rank, Pedraza has already had two fights this year. At the MGM Grand Arena, Pedraza faced off against Mexico’s Antonio Moran (23-3, 16 KOs) in a match that tested the Puerto Rican’s toughness. The bout was scheduled for ten rounds and was for the WBO Latino lightweight title.
Pedraza came out in the first round utilizing a Mayweather style defense implementing the shoulder roll. Pedraza was landing the cleaner punches and in some instances living up to his moniker as the “Sniper.” However, there were significant moments of inconsistency from the Puerto Rican. Pedraza allowed Moran to throw large volumes of punches as he stood in front of him. Instead of using lateral movement or grabbing hold of Moran for a clinch, Pedraza decided to use the shoulder roll to evade many of Moran’s punches. However, in those moments Pedraza was not returning any blows on Moran thus leading many to score those rounds in favor of the Mexican fighter.
Whenever Pedraza would let his hands go in combination, he was able to land some beautifully placed uppercuts and body shots. Those punches would slow down Moran and allowed Pedraza to back him up. The Puerto Rican also landed an uppercut that caused a nasty cut on the bridge of Moran’s nose that would cause bleeding for the remainder of the fight. By the sixth round, Pedraza began using more lateral movement to keep Moran out of range limiting his attacks to just one punch at a time. In the eighth round, Pedraza landed two consecutive left hands that hurt the Mexican fighter causing him to back up against the ropes. Pedraza was able to take over the last three rounds, and the judges awarded him with a unanimous decision victory. The scores were 96-94 from all three judges.
In victory, Pedraza showed glimpses of being an elite fighter with his body attack and sharp well-timed punches. However, there were many lapses in focus that many of the elite fighters at lightweight could take advantage. Pedraza’s willingness to battle it out and exchange can be to his own detriment. Now that Pedraza holds the WBO Latino lightweight title a future fight with WBO lightweight champion, Ray Beltran could be next for the Puerto Rican. Beltran may be facing pound-for-pound star Vasiliy Lomachenko should the Ukrainian come out of shoulder surgery at 100 percent. Whatever is next for Pedraza it is clear that his move to Top Rank has benefited him and fans will likely see him in the ring again later on this year.
(Featured Photo: Top Rank Boxing)