Jose Pedraza got the result he was looking for tonight, beating Stephen Smith fairly comfortably by decision to successfully defend his IBF super featherweight title, winning on scores of 116-111, 116-111, and 117-110. BLH had it 116-111 for Pedraza.
Pedraza (22-0, 12 KO) found himself with a style matchup that suited his approach tonight, unlike last October when he was arguably very lucky to squeak past Edner Cherry by decision. Against Smith (23-2, 13 KO), he was able to use a variety of things to gain and maintain the advantage on the night, including a sharp jab, some good body work, and a lot of nice defensive movement that at times seemed to hypnotize, or at least bewilder Smith.
Smith did have his moments in the fight, and it certainly wasn't a proper blowout, the Pedraza was clearly the better fighter, smoother and more consistent overall. The Puerto Rican dropped the British challenger in the ninth round, at a point where Smith really needed to find a way back into the fight. That didn't make the difference, but it pretty much halted any momentum Smith might have hoped to pick up.
This was the second successful title defense for the 26-year-old Pedraza, who won the vacant title last June against Andrey Klimov. It was Smith's first loss since 2011, when he was stopped by Lee Selby, and ended his 11-fight win streak.