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Jose Pedraza vs Julian Rodriguez joins Stevenson-Nakathila on June 12th

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Pedraza has won two straight since a 2019 loss to Jose Zepeda

Jose Pedraza v Mikkel LesPierre Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

In a bit of news that slipped by this past Sunday, Top Rank’s Carl Morretti told The Ring’s Ryan Songalia that former two-division champion Jose Pedraza will meet rising prospect Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez in ESPN’s June 12th Shakur Stevenson vs Jeremiah Nakathila co-feature.

“Sniper” Pedraza (28-3, 13 KO) got a rough welcome to the super lightweight division from Jose Zepeda two Septembers ago, but has looked damn sharp since, handily outclassing both Mikkel LesPierre and Javier Molina in the span of two months. He represents a considerable step up in class for the 26-year-old Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KO), who only graduated to 10-rounders last year in his pair of quick finishes over Anthony Laureano and Jose Eduardo Lopez Rodriguez.

Top Rank is either extremely high on Rodriguez or not high at all; he may be above his ideal weight, but Pedraza’s still a serious problem for most the division. Either way, it’s a damn sight more interesting and competitive than the main event.