While some controversy surrounding timing was a topic of discussion, there was no doubt who won the latest Top Rank main event on Thursday, July 2.
Inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Jose Pedraza outshot Mikkel LesPierre through ten rounds to earn the unanimous decision (100-88, 99-89, 99-89) win. This was a redo from their bout that was called off on June 18 following LesPierre’s manager Jose Taveras testing positive for COVID-19.
“Mikkel was a tough opponent, but I stuck to my game plan. I wanted the knockout, but he stayed strong in there. I give him a lot of credit,” Pedraza said. “I would like to fight any of the world champions, but we have to see what happens next. I proved I belong with the top guys in the 140-pound division.”
It looked as if LesPierre (22-2-1) was going to have a good night in the ring, as he hit perfect combination shots to start the bout. He pushed Pedraza (27-3) back as he closed the distance. It wasn’t until the end of the round that Pedraza landed shots that forced LesPierre’s nose to bleed.
All of the momentum LesPierre had quickly went away in round two, as Pedraza landed a flurry of punches to the body and face of LesPierre. Pedraza hit side shots and six-punch combinations to the head. He would then land over 46 shots out of 83 thrown, according to CompuBox. LesPierre only landed nine out of 60. The end of the round seemed like a long way away for LesPierre, who managed to make it towards his seat.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) July 3, 2020
From there, LesPierre looked tired while Pedraza had all the energy. The former’s head was getting damaged as Pedraza would not stop landing combinations. Later in the fifth, controversy struck as LesPierre knocked Pedraza down to the floor with a jab to the chest. Right away, Pedraza responded with a huge shot to the face.
Towards the beginning of round six, the referee went to the replay and could see that Pedraza slipped when he was knocked down, reversing the call. It took over two minutes (2:10) to get the replay right.
As the fight went on, Pedraza was landing even more combination shots as LesPierre tried to back away. Pedraza’s combinations were showing new life with an empty crowd, and the sound was loud. Pedraza would end up landing another knockdown in the tenth, and a bloody LesPierre could only watch as Pedraza was running away with the fight.
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) July 3, 2020
According to CompuBox, Pedraza landed over 168 punches out of 406 thrown with two knockdowns, while LesPierre landed 69 out of 443.
Pedraza, the former WBO Lightweight Champion, is now 2-1 in his last three fights. This was a rebound win for the former IBF Super-Featherweight Champion, as he lost to Jose Zepeda back in September.
LesPierre, who works at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, is 2-2 in his last four fights. The former WBO Super-Lightweight contender is no longer in the win column after beating Roody Pierre Paul in December.