Jose Pedraza: I’m going to overwhelm Keyshawn Davis with a lot of punches

Jose Pedraza faces Keyshawn Davis in the co-feature to Teofimo Lopez vs Jamaine Ortiz in Las Vegas

Two-division world champion Jose Pedraza faces Keyshawn Davis live from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Thursday, February 8. The pair squares off in the co-feature on the card topped by Teofimo Lopez vs Jamaine Ortiz. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds at lightweight.

Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs) is looking to return to winnings ways, following his outing last February, when he dropped a unanimous decision against Arnold Barboza Jr. The 34-year-old native of Caguas, Puerto Rico is a former IBF super featherweight champion and former WBO lightweight champion. Over the course of his career, he faced Vasyl Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis, Jose Zepeda, Richard Commey, among others.

Going up against Keyshawn Davis (9-0, 6 KOs) in February in Las Vegas, Pedraza looks to earn another shot at a world title.

Unbeaten 24-year-old U.S. Olympic silver medalist Davis of Norfolk, Virginia was in action last October, when he faced Nahir Albright in a bout that originally ended in his win by majority decision, but later overturned to No Decision by Texas commission.

Jose Pedraza prepares to face Keyshawn Davis in Las Vegas
Jose Pedraza | Top Rank
Jose Pedraza prepares to face Keyshawn Davis in Las Vegas
Jose Pedraza | Top Rank

“It’s been almost a year since my last fight. I needed the rest. And as they say in Puerto Rico, ‘my veins are already itching,’ so I’m ready to return to the ring,” Pedraza said at a media workout at Felix Pagan Pintor Municipal Boxing Gym in his hometown of Cidra, Puerto Rico. “This has been a great training camp. I have done a lot of sparring, a lot of running up the mountains of Jajome and very solid weight training to achieve the excellent physical condition I am in for this fight. It has been a very complete training camp. I feel very good.”

“I believe the key is going to be throwing a lot of punches. I’m going to overwhelm him with a lot of punches. I’m going to use a lot of lateral movement as well. I will use all my experience. All of that is going to be key in this fight. He has youth on his side, but I have the experience. I wish him all the luck in the world, but be careful not to slip on this ‘stepping stone’. I am not a stepping stone!”

Jose Pedraza prepares to face Keyshawn Davis in Las Vegas
Jose Pedraza | Top Rank
Jose Pedraza prepares to face Keyshawn Davis in Las Vegas
Jose Pedraza | Top Rank
Jose Pedraza prepares to face Keyshawn Davis in Las Vegas
Jose Pedraza | Top Rank

“He is a very talented young man with many skills. But he has the typical American style of moving a lot and counterpunching. He is very selective with his punches and uses his speed very well. I hope he comes well prepared because I am prepared to put on a great performance that will catapult me into the lightweight world title conversation. I want to become a world champion for a third time and cement my legacy in Puerto Rican boxing history.”

‘I can assure you that he is in optimal condition’

“This will be a great fight of youth versus experience,” said Peraza’s trainer Luis Espada. “We have prepared Pedraza for a demanding fight. We have returned with the original team, the people with whom we have seen the best results of his career. We brought back his physical trainer, Andrés Melendez, and we have prepared so well as to erase the 10-year gap that exists between the two fighters.”

Jose Pedraza prepares to face Keyshawn Davis in Las Vegas
Jose Pedraza | Top Rank
Jose Pedraza prepares to face Keyshawn Davis in Las Vegas
Jose Pedraza | Top Rank
Jose Pedraza prepares to face Keyshawn Davis in Las Vegas
Jose Pedraza | Top Rank

“I am certain that we are well prepared because for this camp we did something we had never done before, which was a 36-minute sparring session without rest with three different sparring partners. Every two minutes a fresh sparring partner entered, and Pedraza performed very well in the last minute as if it were the first minute of sparring. I can assure you that he is in optimal condition.”

In the main event, former unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) makes the first defense of his WBO super lightweight title against Jamaine Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs). The world championship bout is scheduled for 12 rounds.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

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