WBA (super) lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko will take on WBO champion Jose Pedraza on December 8th at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Lomachenko vs. Pedraza will be televised in the USA on ESPN and on BoxNation in the UK. The card also features Isaac Dogboe, who will defend his WBO super bantamweight title against Emanuel Navarrete.
Tale of the Tape – Lomachenko vs. Pedraza
|Vasyl Lomachenko||Jose Pedraza|
|Record||11-1 (9 KOs)||25-1 (12 KOs)|
Fight Breakdown – Lomachenko vs. Pedraza
Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko is considered by many to be the best fighter in boxing. A three-division champion in just twelve fights, the Ukrainian superstar has defeated the likes of Gary Russell Jr., Nicholas Walters, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and Jorge Linares. In his most recent fight, the two-time Olympic gold medalist climbed off the canvas and overcame a shoulder injury to score a tenth round TKO victory over Linares. After undergoing successful surgery on his right shoulder, Lomachenko says he is now ‘100 percent’ and ready for action.
Jose “Sniper” Pedraza has put together a solid career since turning pro in 2011. A former Olympic competitor, Pedraza has wins over Tevin Farmer, Edner Cherry, Stephen Smith, and most recently, Raymundo Beltran. The unanimous decision win over the aging Beltran earned Pedraza a title in a second weight class. Pedraza’s only loss came to the hard-hitting Gervonta Davis in 2017.
Jose Pedraza’s style reminds me a little of a slower Jorge Linares, who Lomachenko had a little trouble with but ultimately stopped. Although he is clearly less explosive than Linares, Pedraza is technically sound, has good footwork, keeps his hands up, and throws good combinations. Pedraza can box and he can brawl (though his power is average at best). He has also shown he can switch stances and fight well as a southpaw.
Lomachenko’s skills are well-documented. He has elite speed, footwork, and one of the highest boxing IQ’s in the sport’s history. Throw in decent power and excellent conditioning and you have a dangerous opponent for anybody at 135. Very rarely do we see fighters as frustrating to face as Vasyl Lomachenko.
Although Pedraza has skills and heart, I do not believe he represents much of a threat to the likes of Lomachenko. The Puerto Rican has not stopped anybody since 2014 and does not possess the speed or power to give a fighter like Lomachenko problems. Expect Pedraza to attempt to use his reach advantage to box from the outside with his jab (possibly from southpaw) and try to rough Lomachenko up when things go to the inside. Eventually though, Lomachenko’s speed and sharp punching will break Pedraza down.
Prediction – Lomachenko vs. Pedraza
I predict a late round TKO victory for Vasyl Lomachenko. Jose Pedraza is tough, but he has never faced somebody as fast and accurate as Lomachenko. If Pedraza goes into survival mode, we may see the first decision win for Lomachenko since 2014. What do you guys think? Comment below with your prediction for the fight.