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Jose Pedraza: "I'm no stepping stone"



Former two-division world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza hosted a media workout yesterday at Felix Pagan Pintor Municipal Boxing Gym in his hometown of Cidra, Puerto Rico, ahead of his 10-round battle against Keyshawn Davis on Thursday, Feb. 8 at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.


Davis-Pedraza will serve as the co-feature to the junior welterweight showdown between WBO and Ring Magazine world champion Teofimo Lopez and Jamaine Ortiz.


Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Takeover Promotions and CES Boxing, tickets are on sale now at AXS.com.

Lopez-Ortiz and Davis-Pedraza will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs) captured the IBF junior lightweight world title against Andrey Klimov in June 2015 and made two successful title defenses. He then became a two-division champion by defeating Rey Beltran to earn the WBO lightweight world title in August 2018. After losing the belt in a unification showdown against Vasiliy Lomachenko, he moved up to 140 pounds, where he gave stiff tests to Jose Zepeda, Jose Ramirez, Richard Commey, Lindolfo Delgado and Arnold Barboza Jr. Pedraza hopes for another world title opportunity as he returns to the lightweight division. Davis (9-0, 6 KOs), a U.S. Olympic silver medalist, returns following his October majority decision win over Nahir Albright, which was later ruled a no contest.

This is what Pedraza and his trainer, Luis Espada, had to say at yesterday's workout:

JOSÉ "SNIPER" PEDRAZA

"It's been almost a year since my last fight. I needed the rest. And as they say in Puerto Rico, 'my veins are already itching,' so I'm ready to return to the ring. This has been a great training camp. I have done a lot of sparring, a lot of running up the mountains of Jajome and very solid weight training to achieve the excellent physical condition I am in for this fight. It has been a very complete training camp. I feel very good."


"I believe the key is going to be throwing a lot of punches. I'm going to overwhelm him with a lot of punches. I'm going to use a lot of lateral movement as well. I will use all my experience. All of that is going to be key in this fight. He has youth on his side, but I have the experience. I wish him all the luck in the world, but be careful not to slip on this 'stepping stone'. I am not a stepping stone!"


"He is a very talented young man with many skills. But he has the typical American style of moving a lot and counterpunching. He is very selective with his punches and uses his speed very well. I hope he comes well prepared because I am prepared to put on a great performance that will catapult me into the lightweight world title conversation. I want to become a world champion for a third time and cement my legacy in Puerto Rican boxing history."

LUIS ESPADA

"This will be a great fight of youth versus experience. We have prepared Pedraza for a demanding fight. We have returned with the original team, the people with whom we have seen the best results of his career. We brought back his physical trainer, Andrés Melendez, and we have prepared so well as to erase the 10-year gap that exists between the two fighters."

"I am certain that we are well prepared because for this camp we did something we had never done before, which was a 36-minute sparring session without rest with three different sparring partners. Every two minutes a fresh sparring partner entered, and Pedraza performed very well in the last minute as if it were the first minute of sparring. I can assure you that he is in optimal condition."

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