By Rey Colon
The career of Jose Pedraza (22-0, 12KOs), who holds the IBF super featherweight world title, remains in limbo because his promoters have failed to schedule his next defense of the title or get him a shot at a world champion in the lightweight division.
Luis Espada - father, trainer and manager of the undefeated boxer - is looking for satisfactory answers or a call with confirmation that his son will fight again in the near future.
"We thought Jose's career had taken a turn in a positive direction but we were wrong in that. Now there is nothing definite on the agenda. Unfortunately, the only champion in Puerto Rico [is unable to get a fight]. And as we say in the field, he is in limbo. We do not know where he is going," Espada said.
Until recently, the plans were for Pedraza to rise up to lightweight and challenge British fighter Terry Flanagan, the 135-pound champion of the WBO - but the bout never came off.
Pedraza has been out of the ring since making an April title defense against mandatory challenger Stephen Smith.
"We were made to understand that we had a fight with Flanagan. We were ready for it to happen. Just say the name and we'll fight. An athlete has to be active. Look at the case of McJoe Arroyo. And the economy is affected. God sets the pace and we want to defend the championship and win two or three additional titles," Espada added.
"It would not be correct [to say Pedraza will not fight in 2016], but we do not know where we stand. He became champion and defended it twice. And it is sad that there is no plan for Pedraza, who is such a complete champion with nearly six years as professional. I'm not arrogant or egotistical, but it's been a long time since Puerto Rico had a champion like Pedraza.
Pedraza is currently under contract with Lou DiBella, Javier Bustillo and Gary Shaw. And he is advised by Al Haymon.
"I understand they are doing their job. If you do not get the fights - they know why. We are waiting for them. That contract expires in January 2018 but seeing things as they are, will have to make a miraculous adjustment for this to go ahead. Things speak for themselves and Puerto Rico wonders what happened to Pedraza and advise you about what to do. We hope they reconsider and take advantage of their champion. He became a champion two years ago and we are still swaying in the hammock," Espada said.
Rey Colon covers boxing for thesportpress.com