By Miguel Rivera
The new Latin champion of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) at 135 pounds, Jose "Sniper" Pedraza, will take two weeks off before returning to the gym in Cidra with a view to a looming showdown with WBO world champion Ray Beltran of Mexico.
This past Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the Puerto Rican fighter overcame very tough challenge from Mexico's Antonio Moran to win a tight unanimous decision. The three judges who saw the action scored the bout 96-94 in favor of Pedraza.
"I hope to get that opportunity against Beltrán and I hope it can happen soon," said Pedraza to Carlos Gonzalez. "[Top Rank] mentioned several dates they have [for the fight with Beltran]. The fight against Beltrán could be staged by September."
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum had mentioned a potential ESPN date of August 25th, with a location to be determined.
Pedraza admits that his most recent fight was a lot tougher than he predicted.
"It was harder than I anticipated. I thought it would be more comfortable according to the strategy and plan that we had. I had to change the strategy a bit because of the cut that Moran suffered on the nose. The plan was to work the body more, but I wanted to take advantage of the cut," explained Pedraza.
"This fight was kind of weird. It was assumed that (Moran) would work with the jab to the face, but he came more to the body. In that sense I thought it would be more difficult because of the height, but I got it right with the jab and that was explosive, fast and strong. In fact, the cut was caused by a jab.
"I lost three rounds, maybe, but never as close as they (the judges) were watching. Perhaps the appreciation was that Moran threw more punches, but I connected with the best punches throughout the fight. (Being busy in my career has) returned the cravings, that emotion, that adrenaline, the desire to fight."