Puerto Rico's Jose Pedraza delivered on his potential about as much as he could have tonight, winning the vacant IBF super featherweight title with a dominant and impressive victory over Andrey Klimov. Pedraza took home a unanimous decision win in Birmingham, Alabama, beating Klimov on scores of 119-109, 120-108, and 120-108. I had it 119-109 watching on TV, while Alec Lewis at ringside for BLH had it 120-108 for Pedraza.
Pedraza, 26, turned pro with some hype in early 2011, and now four years later has a world title belt, an impressive run as a prospect, but certainly with more to prove. Klimov (19-2, 9 KO) never seriously challenged him, and it seemed that Pedraza (20-0, 12 KO) coming out southpaw exclusively for the first few rounds really threw Klimov for a loop, as the usually busy 32-year-old Ukrainian couldn't get himself out of the starting blocks.
By the time Klimov showed a little life in the fourth through sixth rounds, the tone had been set by Pedraza. The fight took its final turn in round seven, when Pedraza battered Klimov on the inside, hammering away at the body and mixing in hooks and uppercuts to the head from his normal orthodox stance. That round left Klimov looking completely defeated, and was the last time Pedraza really pushed in the fight, as he fought a risk-free bout from that point on, though he still won the rounds.
What did you think of Pedraza tonight, and is he ready to get in there with the real best at 130?