By Ryan Burton
Former super featherweight champion Jose Pedraza (24-1) has the opportunity to become a two-division champion on Saturday when he faces WBO lightweight kingpin Ray Beltran (35-7-1).
The fight takes place at the Gila River Arena just north of Phoenix and will serve as an ESPN main event. WBO super bantamweight titleholder Isaac Dogboe defends his belt against Hidenori Otake in the televised co-feature bout.
Pedraza made his debut with Top Rank in March and is 2-0 since signing with the promotional company. He is very happy to be getting his third fight in less than six months after having long periods of inactivity with his prior promoter.
"I am very happy with Top Rank. I have been very active and that is what all boxers want. Before I wasn't fighting very often and like you said this will be my third fight of the year and this is what I need to continue improving and to get better in my career," said Pedraza.
The 29-year-old from Caguas, Puerto Rico has a lot of respect for Beltran. He expects to have a tough fight but believes that his skills and determination will overcome anything that the Mexican brings to the ring.
"The most important key for me is the motivation. The motivation to train hard. I am very sure of myself. I know what Ray Beltran brings to the ring and I will be ready for what he brings. I can't give away my plan but I need to box him well. Beltran likes to fight toe to toe but I need to have my defense sharp and go to his body to slow him down," explained Pedraza.
He is now 3-0 since losing his title in his only professional loss which came against Gervonta Davis in January, 2017. After a 14 month layoff Pedraza says that he is refocused and rededicated and is solely looking forward to the future.
"I was very frustrated. I was training all of the time but I wasn't fighting. I was training to be ready but at the same time I wasn't getting fights and then Hurricane Maria hit so I had a lot of things happen along with that loss but all of that is in the past now," Pedraza told BoxingScene.com.
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