Jose Ramirez and Jose Pedraza battle on Feb.5th in Fresno, California

By Boxing News - 10/30/2021 - Comments

By Sean Jones: Former WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez and Jose ‘Sniper’  Pedraza have agreed to a fight earlier next year on February 5th on ESPN at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.

In a Top Rank Boxing promoted card, Ramirez  (26-1, 17  KOs) will have the hometown advantage in battling the former two-division world champion Pedraza (29-3, 14 KOs). Mike Coppinger is reporting the news of the Ramirez vs. Pedraza fight being agreed on for February 5th.

This will be the 29-year-old Ramirez’s first fight since losing his WBA & WBO 140-lb titles to Josh Taylor by a close 12 round unanimous decision earlier this year in an undisputed clash on May 22nd in Las Vegas.

That was a fight that Ramirez could have won had he not been dropped in the sixth and seventh rounds. As it was, Taylor barely edged him by the scores 114-112, 114-112, and 114-112.

Ramirez would likely have a good shot at beating Taylor in a rematch, but there’s no possibility for a second fight right now. Taylor will probably move up to 147 in a couple of fights, and the only way Ramirez will get a rematch is if he follows him.

Pedraza, 32, hasn’t looked that great since moving up to the 140-lb division in 2019. Although he’s won his last three fights, he was soundly beaten by Jose Zepeda by a 10 round in September 2019.

Losing the way Pedraza did, it isn’t easy to see him having better luck against Josh Taylor, Regis Prograis, or Jose Ramirez.  But at this point, it might be too tricky for Pedraza to return to the 135 or 130-lb divisions where he had a lot of success.

Pedraza is a tough cookie for Ramirez to be fighting in his rebuilding fight on February 5th. If Ramirez isn’t mentally 100% following his loss, ‘The Sniper’ Pedraza could beat him and make matters worse.

Ramirez has got to make sure that he doesn’t make the same mistakes he did in his loss to Taylor, as Pedraza will be looking to take advantage of the flaws he showed in that fight. Taylor took advantage of Ramirez not having his guard up when the referee would break them.

Hitting on the break is illegal, but Taylor went after Ramirez when the referee would break them, and he could nail him with shots.

Pedraza was destroyed four years ago by Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis by a seventh round knockout in January 2017. At the time, Pedraza was the IBF super featherweight champion, and he looked invincible, but Tank had too much speed and power for him.

Image: Jose Ramirez and Jose Pedraza battle on Feb.5th in Fresno, California

In December 2018, Pedraza lost to Vasily Lomachenko by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision. Although it was one-sided, Pedraza was competitive in the fight and marked Lomachenko up.

In Pedraza’s previous fight, he had defeated Ramundo Beltra by a 12 round unanimous decision to capture the WBO lightweight title, which he held for four months before losing it to Lomachenko.

Since losing to Jose Zepeda in 2019, Pedraza has won his last three fights against Julian Rodriguez, Javier Molina, and Mikkel LesPierre.

If #4 WBO Pedraza can beat Ramirez, he would be able to fight for the title. When Pedraza gets a crack at the belt, Josh Taylor will likely have vacated all his belts and moved up to 147. That’s a good thing for Pedraza because he doesn’t match up well against a fighter the size of Taylor.

Ramirez would like a rematch with Taylor before he moves up to 147, so it’s vital that he beat Pedraza. Taylor has a lot of great options at 140 and 147, and it’s difficult to imagine him choosing to run it back against Ramirez rather than going in another direction.  Josh has these great fights available for him:

  • Teofimo Lopez
  • Terence Crawford
  • Gervonta Davis
  • Regis Prograis
  • Devin Haney
  • Errol Spence Jr