By Miguel Rivera
The junior lightweight champion of the International Boxing Federation (IBF), Jose 'Sniper' Pedraza (22-0, 12KOs), will be very attentive on the outcome of the fight between WBO champion Roman "Rocky" Martinez and two-time Olympic gold medal winner Vasyl Lomachenko.
The fight takes place this Saturday at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and Pedraza will be sitting ringside at the venue to show his support for Martinez. Pedraza's other countryman, Felix Verdejo, will also see action on the card.
Pedraza has no interest in facing Martinez. The two are close friends and Pedraza helped him get ready for the contest with Lomachenko, who vacated his WBO featherweight title to pursue a second divisional belt.
Pedraza wants to secure a unification fight before he moves up in weight to 135-pounds.
"The purpose of going to New York is to support both Rocky and Felix Verdejo. In the event that something happens with Rocky, we will make an approach to Lomachenko to unify the titles, "said Luis Espada, coach Pedraza, to Carlos Gonzalez.
Espada had hoped that Pedraza would be able to land a unification bout with Mexican Francisco Vargas, who holds the WBC championship - but last Saturday's war with Orlando Salido will likely shelve Vargas for the remainder of the year. Vargas took a lot of punishment in the contest and suffered two terrible cuts above both eyes and they will potentially take the remainder of the year to fully heal.
"If Rocky wins, we would like to see what options we have like going up to 135 pounds. Unifying with Javier Fortuna is unattractive for television. It's a little better to vacate and go up to 135 pounds. Javier Fortuna is not an option because he is not attractive for television," said Espada.