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Ray Beltran will defend title against Jose Pedraza instead of Roman Andreev

Andreev has withdrawn from the fight because of an appendicitis attack.

Ray Beltran v Arash Usmanee Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

WBO lightweight titleholder Ray Beltran will now be defending his belt against Jose Pedraza after Roman Andreev had to withdraw from the bout, suffering from an appendicitis. ESPN reports Andreev has undergone surgery to deal with the issue but it has left him unable to prepare for the fight for the time being.

Pedraza (24-1, 12 KOs) is next in line as the WBO’s #2 rated lightweight and is coming off two decision wins after getting stopped by Gervonta Davis for the junior lightweight title in early 2017.

“Full speed ahead with Pedraza now with no impediments,” Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti said. “Stylistically, I think it’s a sensational matchup because usually when Ray Beltran fights he’s never in a boring fight. And Pedraza is extremely confident and we believe that he is a much better fight at 135 pounds than at 130.”

The Beltran-Pedraza winner is thought to be a likely opponent for Vasyl Lomachenko once he returns from injury later on this year.

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