Pedraza looking to steal the show in first defence of world title

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(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

This Saturday night, live on Showtime®, undefeated Puerto Rican star Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza (20-0, 12KO’s) makes the first defense of his IBF junior lightweight world championship when he defends his crown against dangerous, former world-title challenger and IBF No. 14 rated Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry (34-6-2, 19KO’s). The championship matchup will be the lead supporting bout to Adrien Broner’s battle against Khabib Allakhverdiev for the vacant WBA world super lightweight title. Showtime will begin live coverage starting at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

The 2008 Olympian Pedraza won the belt in June with a near shutout decision over once-beaten and tough-as-nails contender Andrey Klimov. Pedraza had his way with Klimov from the outset, controlling the action with his superior boxing ability and speed, switching between orthodox and southpaw, and at times stalking Klimov down, showing his willingness to go toe-to-toe. It was a near flawless performance for the 26-year-old, who won by scores of 120-108, 120-108, and 119-109, fulfilling a lifelong dream, and cementing himself as the leading candidate to become the island country of Puerto Rico’s next superstar. Pedraza will be looking to steal the show this Saturday when he takes on the dangerous and longtime contender Cherry.

“We train hard all the time, we are in great shape and we prepare for every fight like the opponent is the champion,” said Pedraza. “Edner Cherry is a very experienced fighter. He is a strong guy and good puncher. I am in great, shape and I’m ready to fight 12 rounds. This could very well be the toughest fight of my career. He hasn’t lost in seven years, but we are very prepared, studied the fight well and are ready to go come Saturday. My youth will play a huge part in this fight. I’m much younger than him and, without a doubt, I will win this fight. I can’t wait for the fans to watch this fight and if they can’t be here than I hope they watch on Showtime. It will be a great fight.”

“Jose Pedraza is one of the most exciting young champions in all of boxing and a successor to the great Puerto Rican champions that preceded him. On Saturday, he’ll have a chance to prove himself against very tough contender Edner Cherry in what should be a barnburner,” said co-promoter Lou DiBella.

“Working with Jose and his team has been spectacular since day one and having Al Haymon working with us to further build his career has been a blessing. There is no limit to what Jose can do in this sport. Edner Cherry is a very dangerous competitor who will be bringing it all night long. We are confident in Jose’s ability though and know he will once again put on a spectacular performance come Saturday night,” said co-promoter Javier Bustillo.

“I truly believe that Jose will be a multi-divisional champion and go down as one of the best fighters to ever come out of Puerto Rico,” said co-promoter Gary Shaw.

The 33-year-old Cherry hasn’t lost a bout since 2008, when he dropped a decision to then-WBC super lightweight world champion Timothy Bradley. After the defeat to Bradley, Cherry dropped down in weight and got himself back into title contention, reeling off 10 victories, including seven inside the distance.

The bout between Pedraza and Cherry is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Universal Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions. The event is promoted by Warriors Boxing and About Billions Promotions.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing and About Billions Promotions, are priced at $154, $104, $79, $54, and $29 and are on sale NOW. Tickets are available at the U.S. Bank Arena box office, all Ticketmaster outlets including select Kroger stores, call 1-800-745-3000, or online at Ticketmaster.com.

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