By Ryan Burton
WBO lightweight champion Jose "Sniper" Pedraza (25-1) will fight for the 4th time this year when he faces WBA lightweight champion Vasily Lomachenko in a unification clash. The fight takes place on Saturday night at the Hulu Theater in New York and will be televised by ESPN after the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
The 29-year-old captured his title in August when he dethroned Ray Beltran in Phoenix. Pedraza gained an early lead in the fight and boxed solidly throughout, dropping the Mexican in the 12th round.
"It was a great fight. Not just from what I did but Beltran also fought well. It was a tough fight but the great training I did helped lead me to victory. I had a great game plan and I was able to implement it which allowed me to win an amble decision," said Pedraza.
The Puerto Rico native is a big underdog against Lomachenko but he is very confident that he will be able to pull off the upset.
To aid in his cause he has studied film of Lomachenko's two toughest fights, his loss to Orlando Salido in just his second professional fight and his most recent fight when he got off the canvas to stop Jorge Linares in 10 rounds in May.
"I definitely studied the Salido fight and also the Linares fight. Linares also had a good performance. He also had a good strategy. It is important to pay attention to both fights. All three of us fighters have different strategies and styles but there is always something you can learn from what happened in those fights," Pedraza recently told BoxingScene.com from his training camp.
The Lomachenko-Pedraza telecast will be a tripleheader that will also feature WBO super bantamweight champion Isaac Dogboe defending his belt against Emanuel Navarrete and blue chip lightweight prospect Teofimo who will face the hard hitting Mason Menard in what on paper is his toughest opponent in his brief professional career.
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