Raymundo Beltran vs Jose Pedraza Preview Aug. 25th
WBO Lightweight Champion Raymundo Beltran of Mexico defends his title against former world champion Jose Pedraza of Puerto Rico in Glendale, Arizona this Saturday, August 25th. Beltran won the vacant belt over Paulus Moses via a unanimous decision in his last outing back in February. It was his fourth shot at the WBO Title. Pedraza last fought in June and beat Antonio Moran by a 10-round unanimous decision to win the WBO Latino Lightweight Title. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the U.S. on ESPN and ESPN Deportes while fans in the UK and Ireland can catch it on BoxNation.
Beltran vs Pedraza Betting Odds
- Jose Pedraza +1o5
- Raymundo Beltran -125
Beltran, who’s now 37 years old, came close to winning the title in 2013 when he travelled to Scotland to face Ricky Burns, but was handed a controversial split-decision draw. He then fought Terence Crawford a year later and dropped a unanimous decision. Beltran fought Takahiro Ao for the vacant title in 2015, but he failed to make the weight. Beltran managed to stop Ao halfway through the second round, but the fight was ruled a no-decision when the Mexican failed a drug test.
Beltran was anxious to win a world title to prove he’s an elite boxer and remain in the USA with a green card, but missing weight and failing drug tests were an odd way to go about it. He’ll enter the ring with a record of 35-7-1 with 21 Kos to his name. Beltran stands 5-feet-8-inches tall, has a 68-inch reach and has fought 247 rounds since turning pro in 1999. Beltran likes to press the action as he’s aggressive, but has average power with a current knockout ratio of 48 per cent.
Beltran isn’t the quickest lightweight around and has been beaten by Crawford, Luis Ramos Jr, Sharif Bogere, Ammeth Diaz, Agnaldo Nunes, Steve Trumble, and Victor Manuel Mendoza with Diaz and Trumble both stopping him in the fourth round. His biggest wins have been against the likes of Moses, Bryan Vasquez, Jonathan Maicelo, Mason Menard, Arash Usmanee, Ji-Hoon Kim and Henry Lundy with his draw coming against Burns. Beltran has also won several regional pro belts including the USBA, NABF, WBO NABO and WBA International Lightweight Titles
The 29-year-old Pedraza is a former IBF Super Featherweight Champion who lost his crown in his third defence when Gervonta Davis stopped him in the seventh round in January of 2017. Since then he’s beaten Jose Luis Rodriguez and Moran be unanimous decisions. Pedraza climbs through the ropes with an impressive mark of 24-1 with 12 Kos. He’s just over 5-feet-8-inches tall with a reach of 70.5 inches, giving him a slight edge in height and reach over Beltran.
Pedraza prefers to fight from the outside, but that’s going to be tough against Beltran. Pedraza won the vacant IBF title in June of 2015 when he beat Andrey Klimov by unanimous decision. He then defended the crown twice by beating Edner Cherry and Stephen Smith by split and unanimous decisions respectively. Pedraza turned pro in 2011 and isn’t really known as much of a banger as his knockout ratio is also 48 per cent, but his power shouldn’t be underestimated.
The former champ has fought 167 rounds as a pro and also owns a unanimous decision win over Alberto Garza in 2014 and a seventh-round TKO over Sergio Reyes a year earlier. Pedraza had a fine, extensive amateur career and represented Puerto Rico at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where he lost in the second round. Since turning pro he’s also won the WBC Youth World, USBA, and IBO World Super Featherweight Titles to go along with his new WBO Latino Lightweight Crown.
Beltran’s no spring chicken now at the age of 37, but of course he has a lot of experience. He’s a solid pro, but not really an elite world champion and the same could probably be said about Pedraza. This is a tough call, but I think Pedraza has the better boxing skills here and as long as he can take Beltran’s toughest shots then I think he’s got a good chance of lifting the title on Saturday night.
I’m expecting a mild upset here.
Play: Pedraza +105 @ BetOnline.ag
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