Pedraza Dominates Overmatched Molina

By Robert Ecksel on September 20, 2020

Saturday’s fight wasn’t a showstopper. It didn't raise the rafters. (Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

In a fight streamed live Saturday night on ESPN+  from the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas, Nevada, former IBF junior lightweight champion Jose Pedraza (28-3, 13 KOs), from Caguas, Puerto Rico, dominated Javier Molina (23-2, 9 KOs), from Norwalk, California, over 10 one-sided rounds.

 

The final scores were 99-91 and 98-92 twice.

 

Thirty-one-year-old Pedraza is a superb fighter who looks at the top of his game. He has fought and sometimes lost to the best of the best, including Gervonta Davis in 2017 and Vasiliy Lomachenko a year later, but looked unbeatable Saturday night. Molina had won his last four fights since being decisioned by Jamal James in 2016. But he had never fought anyone at Pedraza’s level and isn’t likely to do so again.

 

Pedraza landed 164 of 519 total punches thrown to Molina’s 49 out of 338.

 

“They do name me the ‘Sniper,’” said Pedraza, “and that means I have to be patient, and when my moment comes I have to take advantage of it. That's what I did tonight because I was able to wear him down, break him down and make him fight my fight. It was the experience that I've had at the top level that helped me finally put it together.

 

“I do believe I'm ready for a world title opportunity. Whoever [wins the fight] between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez, I want the winner of that fight.”

 

Saturday’s fight wasn’t a showstopper. It didn't raise the rafters, but at least the better man won.

 

In other action, heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba (14-0, 11 KOs), the 6’6” heavyweight power puncher from Ughelli, Nigeria, failed to impress while decisioning Jonathan Rice (13-6-1, 9 KOs), from LA via Columbia, South Carolina.

 

Ajagba landed 131 punches to Rice’s 39.