A New Lightweight Champion Was Crowned: Ray Beltran vs Jose Pedraza Recap

Gila River Arena, Glendale, AZ – It was a great night of boxing action that was organized by Top Rank. It started off with a lot of young prospects having impressive performances: super welterweight Sagadat Rakhmankul, bantamweight Breenan Macias, light heavyweight Trevor McCumby, featherweight Francisco De Vaca, super bantamweight Carlos Castro, super featherweight Robson Conceicao and super featherweight female Mikaela Mayer are all names that boxing fans should look out for coming from the Top Rank umbrella.


Isaac Dogboe vs. Hidenori Otake

In the co-main event we saw Isaac Dogboe destroy Hidenori Otake to retain his WBO Junior Featherweight title. Fireworks were expected going into this match-up as both of these fighters are known for high punch outputs. The fight started as expected with both fighters coming out throwing punches both to the body and head.

It became evident very quickly that Dogboe was the more powerful puncher as he was able to move Otake with each punch and then landed a devastating left hand that knocked Otake down. Otake never recovered as he would get knocked down again and take some more punishment before the referee stepped in and stopped the fight in the first round. Dogboe is now 20-0 with 14 knockouts and Otake fell to 31-3-3 with 14 KO’s.


Jose Pedraza vs. Raymundo Beltran

The main event was a very good fight where momentum shifted back and forth. Pedraza controlled the first four rounds with his jab. He did a great job of timing his jab and changing locations with it, going up to the head and down to the body.

Beltran seemed a bit hesitant to start the fight as he would get countered whenever he would go in. Pedraza was catching Beltran with counter straight right hands consistently. Beltran would land a shot here and a shot there and the crowd would go crazy for the hometown hero but it definitely was not enough in those early rounds.

In the middle rounds, Beltran found an opening and won rounds 5-8 by switching up his attack. He is known as an aggressor who crowds his opponent, which he did do, but he also sat back and started to use a lead right hand. This looked to throw Pedraza off and he looked to be a bit tired in the seventh and eighth round.

Pedraza got back to the boxing that got him the lead early in the ninth round. He was countering Beltran easily and even when Beltran would have him trapped in a corner, Pedraza would land a right hook and circle out of danger.

Later in the rounds you could see Beltran looking up at the clock which is usually a sign of fatigue. In the 11th round, Beltran came in recklessly with his head out in front of his shoulders and Pedraza caught him with a beautifully placed left uppercut from the southpaw stance which knocked Beltran down.

Pedraza would go on to win the 12th round as well. Beltran looked to be exhausted by the last round. Pedraza won the fight by unanimous decision and took the WBA Lightweight Championship away from Beltran. Pedraza is now 25-1 with 12 knockouts, while Beltran fell to 35-8-1.

Damian Adams

San Diego, California

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