Pedraza Bludgeons Klimov, Wins Vacant 130 Lb. Title

By Jake Donovan

BIRMINGHAM —A bloodletting gave way to a boxing lesson as unbeaten junior lightweight Jose Pedraza dominated Andrey Klimov over 12 rounds Saturday evening at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.

Scores were 120-108 (twice) and 118-109 for Pedraza, who won a 130 lb. title in the process. The bout served as the Showtime-televised chief support to Deontay Wilder's homecoming showcase versus Eric Molina in his first heavyweight title defense.

Pedraza was in control from the opening bell, spending much of the first half of the bout laying the foundation for a desired knockout finish. Klimov did his best to try to keep up, even enjoying moments of success in round four.

From there, Pedraza lived up to his "Sniper" nickname, picking off Klimov at will. His nose bloodied and eyes sliced up, it appeared to be a matter of time before the fight would come to a close.

Credit is due to Klimov for avoiding that fate, although referee Charlie Fitch—who did a great job of officiating from afar all evening—was forced to give the battered boxer a hard look after rounds seven and eight. The action was permitted to continue, at which point Pedraza transitioned from aspiring knockout artist to performing a boxing clinic.

The latter part segued to a somewhat anti-climactic finish, as the championship rounds were void of action. Klimov was content with going the full 12 rounds, while Pedraza realized a knockout wasn't there to be had. 

Nevertheless, the unbeaten southpaw from Puerto Rico nets his first major title. In running his record to 20-0 (12KOs), Pedraza claims a 130 lb. title, the win coming on the eve of the National Puerto Rican Day parade some 1,000 miles away in New York City. 

"This was years in the making for me," Pedraza said after the fight. "We're a small island; this was an honor to bring home the title."

Klimov (19-2, 9KOs) ends a three-fight win streak with the defeat, his first since falling well short to Terence Crawford in Oct. '13.

The belt at stake was made available when Rances Barthelemy opted to vacate, moving all the way up to junior welterweight where he will face Antonio DeMarco on June 21 in Las Vegas.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by _original_ on 06-14-2015

The kid looked good tonight, want to see more.

Comment by PRBOXINGCOTTO on 06-14-2015

Good win by the sniper he will unify titles very soon and beat that bum dominican

Comment by Aztekkas on 06-14-2015

Pedraza is a brilliant fighter and a rightful champion. I'm glad la isla is returning to their rightful place in boxing little by little. The amount of talent that PR produces is astounding.

Comment by Basco on 06-13-2015

[QUOTE=SkillspayBills;15786536]Out of the 8 fighters I saw tonight, Pedraza is the best one.[/QUOTE] Pedraza is the most under rated PR fighter! He is flying under the radar but I tink now that he has the title, he will get some…

Comment by SkillspayBills on 06-13-2015

Out of the 8 fighters I saw tonight, Pedraza is the best one.

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