Jose Ramirez and Jose Pedraza look to stake their claims


Jose Ramirez
Jose Ramirez and Jose Pedraza make their case for a title shot

SHOULD Josh Taylor do as is expected and leave the 140lbs weight class, he will vacate the world championship and four belts in the process. It stands to reason, then, that the winner of Friday night’s (March 4) tussle between Jose Ramirez and Jose Pedraza, at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, will be in prime position to challenge for some of the vacant silverware.

Ramirez, 29, was last seen in a boxing ring last May when he lost a thrilling but deserved 12-round decision to Taylor in Las Vegas. Though unbeaten going in, one can argue that his class shone brighter in that one reverse, than in any of the 26 victories that came before. Puerto Rico’s Pedraza, three years older at 32, gave Vasiliy Lomachenko an unexpected test in 2018 in their 12-round lightweight fight. Pedraza, who was stopped by Gervonta Davis in 2017, has suffered another reverse since being outpointed by the Ukrainian. Jose Zepeda beat him on points over 10 in 2019 and though he stopped the unbeaten Julian Rodriguez in June last year, the feeling here is that Ramirez can win this 12-rounder on points.

Top Rank promote. ESPN broadcast in the USA and Sky Sports will show the fight in the UK.

Roman Gonzalez also fights Julio Cesar Martinez this weekend. Read our preview here

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