Jose Pedraza Dominates Mikkel LesPierre Over Ten
While appearing in the main event a crucial bout, two-division champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (27-3, 13 KO’s) won a unanimous decision over Mikkel “Slick Mikk” LesPierre (22-2-1, 10 KO’s). This was a must win as both men looked towards gaining another shot at a title.
The former champ is a quality name within the lightweight and junior lightweight divisions. Now campaigning at junior welterweight he is trying to avoid being relegated to gatekeeper status. Luckily for him, he shined brighter than police interrogation lights against LesPierre.
DOMINANT FROM THE START
The Brooklyn fighter from Trinidad was never truly in the fight. In the first period, Pedraza got off to a swift start and masterfully threw a truck load of short hooks while continuously switching stances. The effective offense left a bloody nosed LesPierre looking bewildered.
In the second period, the Trinidadian boxer shelled up for so long on the ropes it felt like referee Kenny Bayless would be forced to step in. Before any action had to be taken, the shell-shocked fighter snapped his spell of inactivity and resumed throwing some measure of return fire.
Suddenly in the fifth, it looked as if LesPierre would enjoy some much needed success. Or…what ended up being “temporary” success.
Entagled feet after a left hand to the body landed was the culprit of Pedraza hitting the canvas. Initially, Bayless did not catch the feet entanglement. Therefore, he charged Pedraza with the knock down and issued the 8-count.
The Sniper would immediately return the favor as he dropped LesPierre with a straight right. Ok so we possibly have a 9-9 round right? Not exactly.
As the sixth round started, Bayless and other members of the crew took time to review footage of the knockdown that favored LesPierre. To the dismay of commentator Andre Ward, it took over two minutes of halted action to come to a decision. LesPierre not only allowed Pedraza to even things up by getting dropped himself. Now, he would lose the point he gained by scoring a knockdown as the call would be reversed!
THINGS KEEP GOING DOWNHILL FOR LESPIERRE
When the action resumed Pedraza fought the remainder of the bout with a more laid-back demeanor. He was clearly still the more dominant fighter, but was not pressing the issue as he had during the first half of the bout.
Despite the reduced pressure, the former champion was able to put LesPierre on the mat once more in the final round. Once again, Bayless almost stepped in and again the underdog would survive the potential stoppage. Yet, while he avoided the indignity of a stoppage he could not avoid a completely one-sided points victory loss.
In the post-fight interview, Pedraza made it clear he wants to fight the two unified champions of the division: Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor. While it seems highly unlikely he gets either of those fights anytime soon, it will be interesting to see how he fits in at the new division.