Mikkel LesPierre Confident Ahead Of Jose Pedraza Fight
Dealing with the same training regiment twice, especially cutting weight, can sometimes be daunting on a fighter. For Mikkel LesPierre, however, it is just another day at the park.
LesPierre (22-1-1) is set to face Jose Pedraza tonight, July 2 from inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two were supposed to fight on June 18 but LesPierre’s trainer tested positive for COVID-19 the day of the fight, forcing the bout to get called off. This wasn’t as big of a problem for LesPierre compared to most fighters, because he has a job at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.
Working during the coronavirus pandemic as a data specialist, the Brooklyn-born Les-Pierre is fighting not because he has to, but because he wants to.
“I understand this is people’s livelihoods,” LesPierre stated to Boxing Scene. “I do it because I enjoy it, and it’s also a source of income for me. Pedraza, it’s probably his [sole] source of income. So, I didn’t wanna not have the fight. He’s been waiting and I’ve been waiting. It was something we could make happen. It’s not like I didn’t wanna fight. I just needed to figure things out, so that I wouldn’t be inconvenienced and there were no excuses on my end.”
The 35-year-old became a professional in 2012. Following a draw in his second fight, he won 20 fights in a row before the start of 2019. LesPierre lost to Maurice Hooker for the WBO Super-Lightweight Title. A rebound against Roody Pierre Paul in December helped his cause to give him some momentum for tonight.
Pedraza (26-3) beat Raymundo Beltran in August 2018 for the WBO Lightweight Title before losing it to Vasiliy Lomachenko in December of that year. “Sniper” rebounded with a TKO win over Antonio Lozada Jr. before losing to Jose Zepeda in September.
Looking to show he can get it done against an established fighter, LesPierre believes this matchup can lead him in the right direction.
“I’m just looking to get the win and propel my career to another level,” LesPierre went on to say. “I’ve had an opportunity before, and I wasn’t able to capitalize on it. To me, this is a better opportunity because the chances are 50-50. Even in the Hooker fight, I felt I had enough to beat him. It’s just the experience level wasn’t there. But from that experience, I feel like now I do belong, and I can compete at this level. Now that I have the right opponent in front of me, I’m gonna show that come [Thursday] night.”
The action begins at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.