Jose Pedraza vs Arnold Barboza Jr. Preview February 3rd, 2023
Former world super featherweight and lightweight Champion Jose Pedraza of Puerto Rico takes on unbeaten Arnold Barboza Jr of Long Beach, California in Glendale, Arizona this Friday, February 3rd in a 10-round junior welterweight tilt. The fight can be seen live in America on ESPN and ESPN+ while fans in the UK can catch it on Sky Sports Arena and those in Canada can see it on TSN 2. Pedraza last fought in August when he battled to a 10-round draw with Richard Commey while Barboza last boxed in July when he beat Danielito Zorrilla via 10-round unanimous decision for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Super Lightweight Belt.
Pedraza vs Barboza Jr. Betting Odds
- Jose Pedraza +400
- Arnold Barboza Jr. -600
Jose Pedraza is winless in his last two outings with his draw against Commey and his loss to former world champ Jose Ramirez last March. Before that, the 33-year-old was on a three-fight winning streak. His previous defeat was to Jose Zepeda via a 10-round unanimous decision in September, 2019 for the vacant WBC USNBC Junior Welterweight Title. He bounced back from that loss first by beating Mikel LesPierre by 10-round unanimous decision then downing Javier Molina by 10-round unanimous decision and stopping Julian Rodriguez in eight rounds.
Pedraza is a former IBF Super Featherweight Champion who won the vacant belt in June, 2015 when he beat Andrey Klimov by unanimous decision. He defended the crown twice by beating Edner Cherry and Stephen Smith by split and unanimous decisions respectively. Pedraza then lost his belt in his third defence when Gervonta Davis stopped him in the seventh round in January, 2017.
After that he managed to beat Jose Luis Rodriguez, Antonio Moran and Raymundo Beltran by unanimous decisions, taking the WBO Lightweight Belt in the win over Beltran. Pedraza then ran into Vasyl Lomachenko in December, 2018, was dropped twice in the 11th round and lost a unanimous decision and his title to the then WBA Lightweight Champ. After that he stopped Antonio Lozada Torres in the ninth round and lost to Zepeda.
After all that action Pedraza climbs through the ropes with a record of 29-4-1with 14 Ko’s. He stands 5-feet-8-inches tall with a reach 70.5-inch reach and has boxed 260 rounds since making his pro debut in 2011. He prefers to fight from the outside if possible and isn’t much of a banger as his current knockout ratio is 41.2 per cent and has gone the distance in nine of his last 11 fights, but his power shouldn’t be underestimated.
Pedraza also owns a unanimous decision over Alberto Garza and a seventh-round TKO over Sergio Reyes. He enjoyed a fine, extensive amateur career and represented Puerto Rico at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where he lost in the second round of competition. Since turning pro he’s also won the WBC Youth World, USBA, and IBO World Super Featherweight Titles to go along with his WBO Latino Lightweight Crown.
The 31-year-old Barboza climbs into the ring with a perfect mark of 27-0 with 10 Ko’s. He’s boxed 160 rounds since making his pro debut in 2013 following a brief amateur career. He measures 5-feet-9-inches tall with a 72-inch reach which gives him a one-inch height advantage on Pedraza and a 1.5-inch edge in reach. When it comes to power, Barboza is below average as well with a current knockout ratio of 37.1 per cent and he’s gone the distance in his last four fights after stopping four of his previous five opponents.
Since turning pro Barboza has also won the vacant WBO International and NABF Jr Super Lightweight Titles. He’s beaten Mike Alvarado, Tony Luis, William Silva and Antonio Moran along the way but is probably best known for his slugfest against Alex Saucedo in October, 2020 when he was dropped in the seventh round but came back to win a 10-round unanimous decision to win the vacant WBO International Super Lightweight Belt.
Both boxers are solid pros but aren’t really in the elite class at the moment. Pedraza arguably was there before but while he’s still a force to be reckoned with he may be on the down side of his career. Barboza has arguably underachieved so far and he needs to win this fight if he has any hope of landing a world title shot some day. This is definitely a competitive matchup between two boxers with moderate power. It should be a close affair and don’t rule out a draw but I’ll give Barboza the slight edge at this point of their careers.
Barboza should be hungrier at this point of his career.
Play Barboza Jr -600 @ BetOnline.ag
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