By Jake Donovan
Jose Pedraza delivered the most impressive performance of his career to date - with the scary part that the best is yet to come.
The unbeaten prospect officially skyrocketed to contender level following a dominant points win over Philippines' Michael Farenas in their super featherweight title eliminator Friday evening in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.
Pedraza was well in control for the entire fight, never showing any fear against the dangerous Farenas, who has upset the apple cart more than once in his career. There would be no fairy tale ending for the visiting underdog on this night, as Pedraza stepped up his game considerably given the level of opposition and what was at stake.
Farenas was cut over his eye and bludgeoned by the midway point, but never stopped coming forward and trying to dramatically turn the tide. The rabid crowd on hand watched with their hearts in their throat whenever the Filipino would load up and throw with knockout intentions, but the well-schooled Pedraza was prepared for any scenario.
Scores were 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 in favor of Pedraza, who improves to 20-0 (12KOs).
Farenas falls to 39-5-4 (31KOs). The loss snaps a seven-fight win streak, including a systematic beatdown of previously unbeaten Mark Davis in July. The 30-year old southpaw was also impressive in defeat in his Dec. '12 clash with a comebacking Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Next up for Pedraza - a former amateur standout who represented Puerto Rico in the 2008 Beijing Olympics - is a crack at unbeaten super featherweight titlist Rances Barthelemy. The win earned Pedraza a mandatory title shot.
The bout aired live on DirecTV Pay-Per-View.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America . Twitter: @JakeNDaBox