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Pedraza: Hopefully Get to Cross Paths With Zepeda One Day Again

Jose Pedraza has visions of winning a major title in a third weight division along with one day avenging a previous loss to Jose Zepeda.

Perhaps in that exact order.

The former two-division titlist from Cidra, Puerto Rico found his way back to the win column after scoring a decisive 10-round win over Mikkel LesPierre (22-2-1, 10KOs) atop a July 2 ESPN card live from MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. The bout took place at a 144-pound catchweight, which will be the same for Tuesday’s main event at the same venue featuring Jose Zepeda, whom outpointed Pedraza last September.

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Zepeda will face San Antonio’s Kendo Castaneda in the ESPN-televised main event, and—much like Pedraza—also has designs on a title fight in the junior welterweight division.

“If I have the chance, I will watch,” Pedraza (27-3, 13KOs) noted to of his tentative plans to tune in. “It’s not a priority right now, but I do hope he does well in his fight and I wish him luck.”

Zepeda (31-2, 25KOs; 2NCs) hasn’t fought since his aforementioned win over Pedraza, which came just seven months after nearly dethroning unbeaten Jose Ramirez (25-0, 17KOs). A second bid at the 140-pound crown remains the goal for the 31-year old contender.

It’s a crowded field among aspiring junior welterweights eyeing a shot at a major belt. Ramirez owns the WBC and WBO straps, while Scotland’s Josh Taylor holds the IBF and WBA titles. All four belts come with mandatory challengers in waiting, along with a desire for Ramirez and Taylor to meet in hopes of creating an undisputed champion.

The reality for mid-level contenders such as Pedraza and Zepeda will be to either land an interim title fight or wait for a vacant belt to become available. Either scenario could prove a quicker path toward their respective goals, one which could entice the proposal of a rematch.

“Hopefully, we get to cross paths one day again,” notes Pedraza, who held titles at junior lightweight and lightweight before moving up in weight in 2019. “My goal is to fight for a third world title, but would also like to one day get the chance to avenge that loss.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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