By Miguel Rivera
Jose "Sniper" Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs) feels confident that he possesses the necessary skills to defeat Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) when they meet in their unification showdown on December 8 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Pedraza will be making the first defense of the World Boxing Organization lightweight title that he captured from Ray Beltran. And he will attempt to capture Lomachenko's 135-pound title under the World Boxing Association at the Hulu Theater at MSG.
"It was a fight we had always wanted personally. What separated us were the divisions. He was at 126, and I was at 130. Then he goes up to 130 and I go up to 35 (135). The opportunity was given when he climbed to 135. Apart from that I like to fight with the great champions. Having those great challenges. All of my career have been challenges. I've never had easy matches, they've always been with dangerous fighters, with top level fighters and I've always been fighting with boxers to make me better," Pedraza told Victor Ortiz.
Pedraza has been studying the style of Lomachenko, who returns from a May knockout of Jorge Linares to capture the WBA crown.
He has, what he believes to be, the perfect game plan to beat the two-time Olympic gold medal winner.
"I have the tools and the ideal style to defeat Lomachenko. Not only am I saying it, there are many famous people in boxing who say so as well. But personally I understand that I have the tools and the right style to make a great fight and beat Lomachenko. You just have to come with a good strategy, follow the plan perfectly and a good condition to keep pace with Lomachenko," Pedraza said.
"We are both at our peak. Lomachenko is 30 years old. We are both at the peak age. So we are in the best moments for both of us. This is the time to take advantage of it. I feel very happy to be very active, to recover all of the time lost. I've seen my promoter's interest towards me. You have to keep them happy with good performances.
"In New York there are a lot of Puerto Ricans. I love fighting in that venue. But it is beneficial for both. There are a lot of Ukrainians living in New York and I know that many Ukrainians will travel. It's beneficial for both of us and I love it, I love fighting in New York for that charisma of the Puerto Rican residents there, who miss the island and love to see us fight."