I haven’t seen much of him, but he is a tall boxer who uses his reach well,” Pedraza said to Boxing Scene. “I couldn’t tell you about his punch and strength. But from what I saw, he uses his distance very well. The fights he has done have been a bit boring but mostly because he boxes a lot. It can cause a bit of trouble. But, I have always fought well with tall fighters.
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Lomachenko dominated Pedraza to add the WBO belt to his WBA belt. Since then, Pedraza has gone 1-2 and moved up to 140 pounds. His last time out, he outpointed Mikkel LesPierre at the beginning of July inside “The Bubble,” which Top Rank created due to COVID-19.
Molina started his career by winning his first nine fights before losing to Artemio Reyes in October 2011. Then Molina reeled off eight consecutive wins before coming up short against Jamal James in January 2016. Now, the California native is on another winning streak, with five victories in a row, including defeating Amir Imam in February on the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury II undercard.
The scheduled for ten rounds junior welterweight matchup between Jose Pedraza (27-3, 13 KOs) and Javier Molina (22-2, 9 KOs) headlines the nine-fight Top Rank Boxing fight card taking place inside the “Bubble” at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, NV on September 19. The fight fans can watch the event live on ESPN Plus.
The Pedraza vs Molina start time is scheduled for Saturday, September 19 at 7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT, when boxing action begins on the undercard. The main card follows at 10 pm ET / 7 pm PT. In Australia the schedule converts to Sunday, September 20 at 9:30 am AEST / 7:30 am AWST for the undercard, and 12 pm AEST / 10 am AWST for the main card.
Jose Pedraza and Javier Molina will trade bombs inside of The Bubble at the MGM Grand this Saturday (Sep. 19th, 8:00 pm ET). Pedraza vs Molina will broadcast on ESPN+. This is Pedraza’s second time headlining an event inside The Bubble while Molina is campaigning for his second win of 2020. These men were supposed to fight in May but the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans. The two are finally entering the ring and testing skills after that cancellation.
Jose Pedraza’s Road to a Third World Title Jose Pedraza’s last outing saw him secure a unanimous-decision victory over Mikkel LesPierre in July. This fight allows for Pedraza to put together his first winning streak in his new division.Pedraza is a former two-division champion and is looking to embark on a path towards hardware at junior welterweight, a third weight class. Both of his titles – which came at lightweight and junior lightweight – were under the WBO banner.
This is a bit of a crossroads moment for Pedraza, who has posted a .500 record across his last four fights. Though the pair of defeats were to pound-for-pound killers (Vasyl Lomachenko and Jose Zepeda), this is still a curious moment for the Puerto Rican.He already has a borderline hall-of-fame caliber resume but has a chance to galvanize his legacy even more by several degrees of magnitude. Championship runs at 130 and 135 pounds are remarkable and, if he goes on yet another championship run in a new division, his legacy is sealed.
Javier Molina’s Biggest Fight Yet Molina is riding a five-fight win streak heading into this bout with his last outing being a unanimous-decision win in February over Amir Imam.Molina, a 2008 US Olympian, is finding traction as a pro, and this is the optimal time for him to be making a jump up to the next competitive tier. He has a stiff test in front of him as Pedraza looked super sharp in his last outing.
These 140 pounders are in a prime position, especially when you look at the macrocosm of the divisional title picture. There are four vacant belts available and, if someone wins impressively here, they could very well launch themselves into a prizefight for one of those unclaimed strapsThis junior welterweight affair is scheduled for ten rounds and I can see this one going the distance, given their sub-50% KO rates and their styles. Pedraza should eventually figure out Molina and secure a thorough decision victory.
Jose Pedraza and Javier Molina headline in something of a crossroads-style matchup at 140 pounds on the next edition of Top Rank Boxing.
The 31-year-old Pedraza (27-3, 13 KO) has been one of the standout fighters from Puerto Rico in recent years, which is a combination of him being a good fighter and, frankly, Puerto Rico having some struggles producing world title-caliber fighters in the last decade or so. Miguel Cotto was the last true headline star from the island, and he hasn’t even fought since 2017, and hasn’t been a major headliner since 2015.
But while you might not think right away that Pedraza’s been a top-level fighter in his career, the facts are that he’s won world titles at 130 and 135, and that’s nothing to sneeze at even in an era of watered-down titles. He claimed the IBF junior lightweight title against Andrey Klimov in 2015, and made two successful defenses before he was overwhelmed by Gervonta “Tank” Davis in a 2017 bout.
Davis projected then, and still does, as a possible pound-for-pound type of talent, so it certainly wasn’t a loss that brought any shame to Pedraza, who would go on to take the WBO lightweight title from Ray Beltran in 2018, a rousing performance seen then as something of a minor upset, which maybe it shouldn’t have been.
Pedraza then went right out and chased real glory, meeting Vasiliy Lomachenko four months later in a 135-pound unification fight. Lomachenko won a clear decision, but did praise Pedraza for being tough and tricky.
In 2019, Pedraza made the move up to 140 pounds, and when fighters start getting into going two classes over their first serious division, you always have questions to be answered. In his debut, the answers weren’t looking good, as he was beaten via decision by Jose Zepeda. Pedraza kept himself in the fight for the most part, but was defeated fairly and cleanly by a contender, casting some doubt as to his status as a 140-pound fighter.
A win in July over Mikkel LesPierre got Pedraza back in the win column, but LesPierre has now had exactly two fights of real substance in his career, and he was routed in both of them.Saturday’s fight with Javier Molina should give us more of an idea what Pedraza might be able to achieve at 140 — or if he might simply be truly limited at this weight.
Molina bounced back with eight straight wins before a 2016 loss to Jamal James on a PBC card, where James was able to keep Molina at bay and neutralize pretty much all of his offensive efforts.
After that defeat, Molina decided to drop from welterweight down to 140 pounds, and so far it appears to have been a very good idea. Since the move down, Molina has gone 5-0 with wins over some decent veterans; in his last two, we’ve seen him stop Hiroki Okada in the first round, which is not generally Molina’s style, and out-point former prospect and world title challenger Amir Imam over eight rounds.
Much like last weekend’s Kavaliauskas-Zewski and Marriaga-Gonzalez matchups, Pedraza-Molina may not instantly excite you as a meaningful fight, but for the guys involved, it really is. For Molina, this is a chance to finally, truly break into contention after 11 years as a pro and some real disappointments and setbacks. For Pedraza, he gets a chance to derail Molina’s momentum and carve out his own spot as a possible real contender at 140 pounds, despite the initial iffy showing at the weight. It’s a real test for both guys, and hugely important for their careers at the moment.