Jose Pedraza dismantles Julian Rodriguez
Two-divisional champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (28-3, 13ko), competing in the junior welterweight division, is looking to get into the title picture. He is also ranked #6 by the WBO and will be putting that ranking on the line against #12 ranked Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez (21-0, 14ko).
Rodriguez is a rising prospect taking on the biggest challenge of his career. A victory would be a huge career boost. Hammer Hands caught the attention of the boxing community with a first-round knockout of then-undefeated fighter Anthony Laureano in Top Rank’s The Bubble at the MGM Grand back in August 2020.
Pedraza enters the ring with a ton of experience. A loss at this point would be costly for the 32-year-old Puerto Rican fighter. Sniper has made it clear he wants to avenge his loss to Jose Zepeda back in September 2019. However, once again the Sniper needs a victory to keep his boxing career off life support.
THE EXPERIENCE WAS GOING TO BE A FACTOR
Hammer Hands came out amped up and ready to go, jumping on the older, more experienced Puerto Rican fighter. He had success landing the straight right hand to the body and a good hook the head. However, Pedraza begins to move and provide angles, landing those short, compact hooks to the head and a sneaky uppercut to the belly on the younger fighter.
The Sniper was living up to his name, sniping the jab between the guard of Rodriguez, who was staying on the centerline getting hit with the straight hand. Moreover, he was doing all this from the southpaw stance and continued to take advantage of the improper foot placement of the younger fighter.
Rodriguez would have some success landing good hooks to the body followed by a good right hook, forcing Pedraza to the ropes. However, he would not follow up, allowing the more experienced fighter to regain control with that laser jab that was beginning to close Rodriguez’s eyes.
SOUTHPAW OR ORTHODOX THE JAB DID THE JOB
In the eighth round, the Sniper was focused solely on the right eye of Rodriguez. He was landing a power jab followed up with a left uppercut and kept the pressure on by landing triple power jabs. Rodriguez tried to fight back, but the veteran moved to the side and kept landing more power jabs.
Rodriguez went back to the corner, acknowledging the pain in the eye affecting his ability to see. Hearing this from their fighter forced the corner to decide to stop the fight.
This stoppage proves the veteran two-divisional champion can still compete on a high-level. His hunt for a world title fight will continue.
By: Garrisson Bland