By Ian S Palmer
Jose Pedraza vs Gervonta Davis Preview January 14th
There’s a battle of undefeated super featherweights at the Barclays’ Center in Brooklyn, New York this Saturday, January 14th as IBF Champion Jose Pedraza Puerto Rico of defends his title for the third time when he meets Gervonta Davis of Baltimore. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the U.S. on the Showtime network while fans in the UK can catch all of the action live on Sky Sports 1. Pedraza’s last bout was in April when he beat Stephen Smith by 12-round unanimous decision. Meanwhile, Davis last fought in June and beat Marco Antonio Macias by a first-round stoppage.
The 22-year-old Davis enters the fight with a perfect mark of 16-0 along with 15 Kos. He’s in the stable of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and has fought just 43 rounds since turning pro back in 2013. Of course, the reason for the low number of rounds is due to his punching power. Davis’ current knockout ratio stands at 94 per cent as he’s been the distance just once in his career and that was just six rounds back in 2014. However, the only opponent you may recognize on his resume is likely Cristobal Cruz, who Davis stopped in the third round in October of 2015. Davis is a southpaw who stands 5-feet-6-inches tall and has a reach of 69 inches.
The 27-year-old Pedraza also has a perfect mark as he’s 22-0 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 both departments. Pedraza prefers to fight from the outside so he’ll be happy he’s fighting a smaller opponent bottled up on the outside. 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 Smith by split and unanimous decisions respectively.
Pedraza turned pro in 2011 and isn’t really known as much of a banger. He enters the fight with a knockout ratio of 55 per cent, but his power shouldn’t be underestimated. He’s fought 142 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 definitely has the edge in experience over Davis as the challenger will be taking a big step upwards in level of opposition. Davis has virtually no experience against top level opponents, but so far he hasn’t needed it as his fights usually don’t go the distance.
The keys to this fight will obviously be Davis’ power and Pedraza’s chin. If the champion can handle the challenge’s hardest shots then there’s a good chance his experience will carry him through to another successful title defence. Davis may have his moments in the bout, but if he can’t take Pedraza out then he will have a long night ahead of him. I’ll go with the champion and his experience here and take Pedraza by decision.