By Lem Satterfield
Jose Pedraza’s first loss was by brutal seventh-round stoppage at 130 pounds against southpaw Gervonta “Tank” Davis in January 2017, and his second, at 135 pounds by unanimous decision to left-hander Vasyl Lomachenko on Saturday night.
“But didn’t stop him,” was the 24-year-old Davis’s reaction to Lomachenko’s performance on his Twitter account on Saturday night. “There’s only one way to settle this and that’s a fight.”
Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) finished the switch-hitting Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) with a blistering right hook to the jaw as a follow up to a trio of head-swiveling lefts, his eighth consecutive stoppage claiming a world title in his first try and, at age 22, making him boxing’s youngest reigning champion.
Pedraza won three straight 135-pound bouts after being dethroned as IBF champion by Davis, and was floored twice during a 40-plus punch 11th round by Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs), a 30-year-old three-division champion and two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist who added “The Sniper’s” WBO crown to his WBA version.
Pedraza ended Lomachenko's run of eight straight knockouts, including those in the sixth and seventh rounds over former titleholders Guillermo Rigondeaux (December 2017) and Nicholas Walters (November 2016).
But when Pedraza was asked whom the superior of his two conquerors is, the 29-year-old Puerto Rican Olympian and two-division champion said “Lomachenko” is “definitely” better.
“Lomachenko is a fighter that breaks down his opponents little by little,” said Pedraza during a post-fight interview recorded by FightHype.com. “Definitely.”
Davis, as expected, disagrees.
“2 shots vs 43 shots,” wrote Davis on his Twitter. “You pick.”
Davis lost his crown at the scales after one defense, but became a two-time champion with April’s WBA "super" super featherweight title-earning two-knockdown third-round TKO of fellow southpaw Jesus Cuellar (28-3, 21 KOs), of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Davis will reportedly pursue his 12th straight knockout and first defense on February 9 in Southern California against three-division champion Abner Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs), who will make his 130-pound debut.