José Pedraza wants a rematch against José Zepeda, who defeated him in his debut at 140 pounds, a weight in which he has two consecutive victories. (Supplied)
With two consecutive victories in the super lightweight division, José “Sniper” Pedraza proved he had the credentials to get a world title shot in that category to try and win a third championship at different weights.
However, the 31-year-old from Cidre insists on erasing a stumble from the past to certify himself as a serious threat to the champions at 140 pounds.
After defeating Javier “El Untocable” Molina by unanimous decision on Saturday in his second appearance as a star figure in Top Rank's “bubble” at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas, Pedraza expressed his desire to face José Zepeda again, the Mexican who beat him on his debut at the super lightweight level in September 2019.
“I have worked hard for this new world title opportunity at 140 pounds, to be champion for the third time. I've proven it in these last two fights. But, I would love a rematch with Zepeda to, as you say, remain undefeated at 140 so far, “Pedraza told El Nuevo Día by telephone after his victory.
Zepeda defeated Pedraza at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas by unanimous decision. The setback kept the Puerto Rican inactive for eight months, in part also due to the COVID-19 pandemic declared by the World Health Organization last March. On July 2, Pedraza came back strong to win over Mikkel LesPierre by unanimous decision.
I have worked hard for this new world title opportunity at 140 pounds, to be champion for the third time. I've proven it in these last two fights. But, I would love a rematch with Zepeda to, as they say, remain undefeated at 140 so far
José Pedraza vs Javier Molina (Top Rank / Mikey Williams)
With a dominating performance against LesPierre and Saturday against Molina, Pedraza, who improved to 28-3 with 13 knockouts, can't stop thinking about Zepeda's spine.
“It's what I want, but you have to let things flow, let the promoters decide what is best for me. But I want to remove that thorn to make everything clear, to release any doubt about that defeat. It can be before or after I fight for a title, it would be excellent. Seriously, both options ”, he indicated.
Since beating Pedraza, Zepeda (32-2, 25 knockouts) adds a win against Kendo Castaneda on July 7 in the same “bubble” where the Puerto Rican has dominated. The Mexican returns to the ensogado on October 3 to meet Ivan Baranchyk.
José Pedraza attacks Javier Molina during their fight on Saturday. (Top Rank / Mikey Williams)
A second lap with Zepeda would be a viable option for Pedraza due to the outlook for the super lightweight champions. On September 26, undefeated Briton Josh Taylor puts his World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) belts on the line against Thai Apinun Khongsong, also unbeatable to date. If he wins the lawsuit, he would go to a unifying brawl against American José Ramírez, who holds the titles of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and the World Boxing Council (WBC).
For now, Pedraza – former champion at 130 and 135 pounds – will rest this week and aims for a return to the ring between late 2020 or early 2021.
“We are going to take a full week off, but we have to stay active. I understand that now, in terms of a fight, the return should be a little longer. Instead of two months, let it be like three ”, he concluded.