Jose Pedraza (4-0) is said to be one of the top prospects to come out of Puerto Rico in years. The lightweight made his pro debut this past February and is scheduled to return to the ring on Friday in El Paso, Texas. Pedraza talks about the upcoming fight, his amateur career and more in this exclusive BoxingScene.com interview.
BoxingScene: First off give us your thoughts on fighting in El Paso, Texas on Friday against John Wampash?
Jose Pedraza: I am happy to be fighting in Texas again. I fought there as an amateur fighter. I am happy to have the opportunity to fight in Texas as a professional. It is a chance to fight in front of a different type of crowd than I normally fight in front of in Puerto Rico and New York. As I develop I want to be well known.
BoxingScene: Have you studied tape on Wampash or do you leave that up to your team?
Jose Pedraza: I don't really know anything about him. I have been training for about two months for this fight and I am ready to fight whoever they put in front of me. I have trained for a long time and I am ready to go.
BoxingScene: This is your second fight scheduled for 6 rounds. Your last fight was your first fight to make go more than one round. Are you going to be looking for the knockout?
Jose Pedraza: In my experience the knockout comes by itself. I am going to try to win the fight round by round but if I see an opening I am going to take it.
BoxingScene: This is the 5th fight of the year and of your career as a professional. Is this your last fight of the year or are you looking to get one more in December?
Jose Pedraza: I want to fight at least once more after this fight before the year ends so I can get my 6th pro fight in this year. An opportunity just opened up for (Javier) Bustillo to do a card in Puerto Rico on December 2nd so if all goes well on November 11th I should be fighting on that card too so I can finish the year with six fights.
BoxingScene: You had a decorated amateur career. What can you tell the fans about your career as an amateur?
Jose Pedraza: I had a long amateur career in Puerto Rico and I traveled all around the world. I stated when I was 12 years old. I had a lot of accomplishments in the amateurs but now it is time for me to prove my worth in the professional ranks. I want all the fans in Texas to come to my fight on Friday so they can see my ability in the ring.
BoxingScene: As we were talking about earlier, this is going to be your fifth pro fight. What is your time table to fight for a world title? Are we looking at 2 years or 3 years down the road?
Jose Pedraza: When Gary (Shaw) was over here for the WBO Convention we talked to Paco Valcarcel and I didn't know that there was a WBO Youth Title. It is like a world championship for fighters at my level. Gary is going to try to get me a shot at that title next year. It is an 8 round fight so it wil probably be the middle of next year or late next year. I want to fight for that title next year then later on down the road I will look to a world title.
BoxingScene: Who is going to win on December 3rd, Miguel Cotto or Antonio Margarito?
Jose Pedraza: I have known Cotto for a long time because we live near each other. I feel that Cotto will win. He has trained well. I know this is going to be a hard fight for both fighters. Both of them want to show the world what they can do. There is a different side to story. Cotto wants to show that maybe this handwrap thing stopped him from winning the fight while Margarito wants to show that even without the handwraps that he can beat Cotto. They are both are going to try to prove that they can win that fight.
BoxingScene: Do you have a message for the fans?
Jose Pedraza: I want to invite all the fans out to see me fight in El Paso, Texas. I have had a lot of fans in my amateur career and a lot of people that have followed me. I want to have the same support from the people as a professional as well. I want to show the people that I can do the same things in the pro ranks as I did in the amateur ranks.
Send questions or comments to [email protected] Follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter and tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene's official audio on Tuesdays. The show is hosted by Ernie Gabion, Luis Sandoval and Ryan Burton.