Jose Pedraza can now count himself as a two-weight world champion in professional boxing, as the Puerto Rican battled past Ray Beltran tonight to win the WBO lightweight title in a minor upset on ESPN.
Pedraza (25-1, 12 KO) won on scores of 115-112, 117-110, and 117-110. BLH had the fight 116-111 on two score cards.
The 29-year-old Pedraza was largely able to dictate the tempo of the fight and keep Beltran (35-8-1, 21 KO) fighting on Pedraza’s terms, including utilizing a good jab from the southpaw stance for much of the bout, often befuddling the more aggressive Beltran before he could do any work when he’d try to cut off the ring.
Beltran was also caught with a big uppercut that sent him to the canvas in the 11th round.
Pedraz, a former super featherweight titleholder, now looks likely to face Vasyl Lomachenko in December in a lightweight unification bout, while the 37-year-old Beltran drops the world title he fought so hard to win in his first defense of that belt. The loss also snaps a six-fight win streak for Beltran, and is Pedraza’s third straight victory since moving up to 135.