At the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, youth was no match for experience, as former two-weight world champion Jose "Sniper" Pedraza (29-3, 14 KOs) barreled his way into the junior welterweight world title picture with an eighth-round stoppage over the previously undefeated Julian "Hammer Hands" Rodriguez (21-1, 14 KOs).
Rodriguez's left eye swelled up early, and following the eighth round, he told his corner he could no longer see out of the injured eye.
Pedraza has now won three straight bouts since losing his junior welterweight debut to Jose Zepeda. At the time of the stoppage, he held a 77-75 lead on all three judges' cards.
Rodriguez was unable to get anything going from the very first round, with Pedraza peppering him with quick punches from both hands.
Pedraza, a former world champion at super featherweight and lightweight, was far too seasoned for Rodriguez, who was taking a big step up in competition.
After a few rounds, both of Rodriguez's eyes were swelling up and he was starting to take a lot of punches - while being unable to land enough offense on Pedraza.
During the eight round, Pedraza was really coming on and starting to connect more often.
Before the start of the ninth, Rodriguez was displaying visible pain when his corner tried to bring down the swelling on the left eye. Once he informed the corner that his vision was compromised, the corner quickly advised the referee to stop the fight.
“My experience was too much for him. I was hungrier than him, and he was just another obstacle in my journey to become a three-division world champion. That is my goal," Pedraza said.
“As the fight went on, I could see him weakening, and I took advantage."