MMA fighting styles

Jose Ramirez vs. Jose Pedraza fight prediction, undercard, odds, start time, how to watch, live stream

In the 10 months since his first loss to Josh Taylor in their undisputed championship duel at 140 pounds, former unified titleholder Jose Ramirez has undergone a plethora of self-discoveries.

Ramirez (26-1, 17 KO), who was dropped twice in a close decision loss last May, thinks he’s figured out the adjustments needed to be made in order to set himself up for another title run. world junior welterweight. And luckily for boxing fans, the proud Central Valley California native doesn’t need a soft touch to test himself first.

Instead, the 29-year-old Ramirez returns to the bottom of the pool on Friday when he returns home to Fresno to headline a 12-round test against former two-division champion Jose Pedraza (29-3 , 14 KOs) at Save Mart Arena (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+).

“My goal is to stay at the top level of the competition, my goal is to become world champion again,” Pedraza said at Wednesday’s final press conference. “You have to fight the best to be ready for those fights. I don’t want easy fights. I don’t want to fight fights that are going to be tune-up fights.”

The timing of Ramirez’s return is interesting in that it comes exactly a week after Taylor battled to a split decision victory over mandatory opponent Jack Catterall in a fight that most observers believed Taylor, who had been dropped and cut, had clearly lost. After the fight, Taylor bent down to vacate his four titles in order to move up to welterweight, again leaving the top of the division wide open.

Enter Ramirez, who not only regularly gathers crowds of over 12,000 every time he fights in Fresno, but still has the best resume in the division after Taylor, including consecutive victories over Amir Imam, Antonio Orozco, Jose Zepeda, Maurice Hooker and Viktor Postol.

“The biggest thing I learned about myself when I faced Josh Taylor is that the only person who can defeat me is myself,” Ramirez said. “I feel like it’s a fight I lost. I don’t believe he beat me because he’s the best fighter. That fight I lost because I didn’t “I wasn’t at my best, mentally and physically. I’ve learned to accept that and I want to win the title shot with my actions. I hope to show my best on Friday.”

The task of retracing his steps in the fight for the title is no easier with someone as skilled and cunning as the southpaw Pedraza, from Puerto Rico, aptly nicknamed “Sniper”, standing in front him.

Pedraza, 32, has won three straight since a 2019 competitive loss to Zepeda and is not far off giving former unified lightweight champion and pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko all he could handle in a thrilling 2018 title fight at 135 pounds that the wide scores in favor of Lomachenko did nothing to accurately describe how competitive he was.

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Ramirez has given Pedraza his respect throughout the fight promotion and certainly knows how dangerous his opponent can be, even though boxing bettors have Ramirez installed as a 6-1 betting favorite.

“I’m used to it now,” Pedraza said of being overlooked. “Those are things that happen in boxing. I only believe in the hard work and training I’ve done and my ability.”

Ramirez relived Taylor’s fight enough to know there were legitimate errors made in both his technique and demeanor that allowed Taylor to score the pair of knockdowns that ultimately made the difference for the judges (114 -112 on all three dashboards).

“I’m hungry,” Ramirez said. “I feel like the Jose Ramirez who got his chance in 2018 and became world champion for the first time. I just want him back.”

The undercard is also filling up decently for this California event. Former WBO titleholder Joet Gonzalez is back when he takes on Jeo Santisima at featherweight. Gonzalez is coming off losses in two of his last three to Emanuel Navarrete and Shakur Stevenson. Additionally, Gabriel Flores Jr. returns to take on Abraham Montoya in a super featherweight contest.

“There is definitely another title shot. [in my future]. I work hard and consider myself one of [top featherweights]. I fought Navarrete. I fought Stevenson. The best fighters. They’re not just regular champions,” Gonzalez said at the final press conference. “I had a great performance in my last fight, I was a little short. I’m ready to come back in there against the best.”

Below is the full fight card for Friday night in Fresno before we arrive at a prediction and pick the main event.

Ramirez vs. Pedraza card, odds

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

Jose Ramirez -575

Jose Pedraza +425

Junior welterweight

Joet Gonzalez -650

Jeo Santisima +475

Lightweight

Gabriel Flores Jr.-330

Abraham Montoya +260

super featherweight

Prediction

Given his technical yet aggressive direct boxing style, it’s hard to imagine a Ramirez fight that wasn’t exciting. Pedraza’s equally bold style shouldn’t make this one any different, especially given their natural contrast in styles, with Pedraza being the natural counter-puncher who, like Ramirez, isn’t afraid to operate at short notice. distance.

Even though Ramirez is a bit fresher of the two fighters, the big odds don’t tell how great the Pedraza game still is. What they do indicate, however, is that Pedraza didn’t turn out to be the same type of puncher at 140 pounds that he was in the lower weight divisions. He’s also not as busy as Ramirez, which should ultimately make the difference.

Look for Ramirez to attack the body, but do it in a much more calculated way than he did against Taylor. Barring a strategic mishap, this one should be both fun and go the distance as Ramirez regains his name among elite junior welterweight fighters.

Take: Ramirez via UD12