Former WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs) had to battle hard to defeat former two-division world champion Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza (29-4, 14 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Friday night at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California.
Ramirez looked like a smaller version of Antonio Margarito with the way he came forward, throwing literally nonstop punches and not worrying about what was coming back at him from Pedraza.
It was a fun fight to watch, particularly in the championship rounds in which Ramirez’s attacking style wore the 32-year-old Pedraza down, forcing him to fight defensively off the ropes.
The judges ultimately went with Ramirez’s high volume attack rather than on focusing on the Pedraza’s cleaner-landing, pinpoint head-snapping shots that he was landing all night.
With a different set of judges, you can argue that Pedraza, 32, would have been given the victory because he was landing the better shots and looked like the better-skilled fighter of the two.
The scores were:
Boxing 247 had it scored a draw at 114-114. The win for Ramirez, 29, puts him in a position to fight for one of the four light welterweight titles once they’re vacated by undisputed 140-lb champion Josh Taylor.
“He was an experienced fighter; he didn’t just come for his check,” said Jose Ramirez to ESNEWS after the fight in reflecting on his victory over the well-schooled Pedraza. “This was his opportunity to fight for a world title.
“He looked great in his last four fights and was dominant against Javier [Molina],” Ramirez continued about Pedraza. “He was very dominant against Julian Rodriguez, who was undefeated. He was finding his range, finding his rhythm in the 140-lb division.
“Here comes me in coming back from a tough bout [Josh Taylor] and go straight with the best against a fighter with a winning streak. I was able to work on things that I haven’t shown too much.
“I wish I would have put it more together with my offense and defense. I showed tremendous skills with my defense; I beat him to the jab. Every time he would try to do something, I would stop him with my jab, and he’d go back to his lateral movement. I was cutting off the ring well.
“There were times where I would get too tense, and he would make me miss,” Ramirez continued. “[Trainer] Robert [Garcia] would remind me to get in close range and land. ‘Just touch him because you’re going to hurt him because you’ve got power, Jose. Just touch him.’
“I was able to hurt him to the body, and a couple of jabs, he was respecting my jabs a lot too. I think I finished the fight strong,” Ramirez said. “There were a couple of rounds that were very tight that I still felt that I did a little bit more in seven and eight.
“I don’t think I lost four rounds, to be quite honest. I knew his body language, and the reason he was trying to move and counter punch with one punch is because he knew he couldn’t box me with combinations and he knew that I had the speed.
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“It was more him being smart and surviving. That’s what warriors do. They find a way to be there. Jose Pedraza, my respects to him and his team in coming to Fresno and giving the fans a great fight,” said Ramirez.
Pedraza appeared to hurt Ramirez on several occasions with his counters, which makes you wonder if he’s still feeling the effects from his previous fight against Josh Taylor last year in May.
Taylor badly hurt Ramirez in the seventh round after catching him with a big shot. Although Ramirez did recover from the knockdown, Taylor dominated the remainder of the fight to earn a 12 round unanimous decision.