Jose Pedraza and Andrey Klimov fought for a vacant IBF junior lightweight title in the televised opener for ShowTime’s telecast featuring Wilder-Molina at the Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Pedraza started off well and utilized both his left hook and right hand. It was Pedraza’s hand speed and combinations that separated himself from his opponent in the first round.
Pedraza was finding openings and exploiting shots. He started to bang up Klimov’s face early in the contest. Klimov was not being dominated, far from it, but he wasn’t finding success even as he cut the ring off and trapped Pedraza. The problem is Klimov never had an answer for Pedraza once he suckered him in.
Pedraza was putting his punches together off of some very smart footwork. Klimov started to close the gap a little in the 5th, but Pedraza didn’t give him much room to build momentum.
Pedraza was brilliant in spots and he utilized his boxing skills to the fullest by moving quickly and utilizing lateral movements. His jab was sharp and his body work was surely paying off as Klimov had been on the receiving end of several unanswered body shots.
The fight slowed down dramatically towards the end of the fight, but Klimov at least brought the fight from close to being stopped to being the competitive loser.
The fight ended up going the distance and it was clear that Pedraza was going to be the winner as ShoStats told a story of more punches thrown and landed on the part of Pedraza.
The judges turned in scores of 119-109 and 120-108 twice for Pedraza.