Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza makes the first defence of his IBF junior lightweight world championship when he defends his crown against dangerous, former world-title challenger Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry on Saturday. The undefeated Puerto Rican is 20-0 with 12 knockouts while the IBF-14th-ranked fighter is 34-6-2. The bout is live on Showtime and will be the lead supporting bout to Adrien Broner’s battle against Khabib Allakhverdiev for the vacant WBA world super lightweight title.
The 2008 Olympian won the belt in June with a near shutout decision over once-beaten and tough-as-nails contender Andrey Klimov. Pedraza had his way with Klimov from the outset, controlling the action with his superior boxing ability and speed, switching between orthodox and southpaw, and at times stalking Klimov down, showing his willingness to go toe-to-toe. It was a near flawless performance for the 26-year old, who won by scores of 120-108, 120-108, and 119-109, fulfilling a lifelong dream, and cementing himself as the leading candidate to become the island country of Puerto Rico’s next superstar.
Pedraza will be looking to steal the show this Saturday when he takes on the dangerous and longtime contender Cherry. He says: ‘We train hard all the time, we are in great shape and we prepare for every fight like the opponent is the champion. Edner Cherry is a very experienced fighter. He is a strong guy and good puncher. I am in great shape and I’m ready to fight 12 rounds. This could very well be the toughest fight of my career. He hasn’t lost in seven years, but we are very prepared, studied the fight well and are ready to go come Saturday. My youth will play a huge part in this fight. I’m much younger than him and, without a doubt, I will win this fight. I can’t wait for the fans to watch this fight and if they can’t be here than I hope they watch on Showtime. It will be a great fight.’
The 33-year-old Cherry hasn’t lost a bout since 2008, when he dropped a decision to then-WBC super lightweight world champion Timothy Bradley. After the defeat to Bradley, Cherry dropped down in weight and got himself back into title contention, reeling off 10 victories, including seven inside the distance. The bout between Pedraza and Cherry is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Universal Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions. The event is promoted by Warriors Boxing and About Billions Promotions.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing and About Billions Promotions, are priced at $154, $104, $79, $54, and $29 and are currently sale. Tickets are available at the US Bank Arena box office, all Ticketmaster outlets including select Kroger stores, call 1-800-745-3000, or online at Ticketmaster.com.