Former two-division titlist 🇵🇷Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (28-3-0, 13KO) at the age of 32 is at the peak of his powers. The now Junior-Welterweight hopeful is looking to continue to perform at that level as he harbors in his prime, with hopes of propelling himself upward a crowded cast of quality world contenders in the 140 lb. weight division. On June 12th, he will he taking the challenge of a young, hungry gun in unbeaten powerpuncher 🇺🇸Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez (21-0-0, 14KO) to co-headline the Virgin Hotels card.
Pedraza throughout his career was one who showed pockets of brilliance in certain outings, but couldn’t achieve the level of sustainability as a consistent performer, thus rendering himself a hot & cold commodity, never knowing which version you were going to get from the skilled Puerto Rican fighter on a given night. Unfortunately, he was VERY cold in his fight against 🇺🇸Gervonta “Tank” Davis, utilizing the worst gameplan in recent memory, and got blasted for it.
Jose did come back a smarter fighter over time, and he got his shot for the true Lightweight World Title against 🇺🇦Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko, where Pedraza finally put all the pieces together. Pedraza walked away with the loss due to Loma’s usual brilliance, but his confidence was sky high after finding how what he could do at that level if he were to complete the puzzle, to see his true potential.
Pedraza ventured north, and in his first fight at Junior-Welterweight, he took the risk of targeting 🇺🇸Jose Zepeda. It didn’t go well for Pedraza, as he didn’t appear to be acclimated to the weight, and with Zepeda putting forth his best performance, picking up the victory. With better training camps, Pedraza would put together two razor sharp outings from a technical standpoint, and picked up unanimous decision victories. He perhaps may need to stay on his game for this upcoming match, because his opponent is motivated.
Julian Rodriguez is 26 years old, and he’s from Hoboken, New Jersey. The former Golden-Gloves winner has been slowly making a name for himself since turning professional in 2013. Taking some time moving up in the ranks, he got his big moment on the Eleider Alvarez/Joe Smith Jr. card, when Julian Rodriguez fought, and obliterated former undefeated prizefighter 🇺🇸Anthony Laureano, putting him down 3 times and stopping him in the opening stanza. If it weren’t for Joe Smith upsetting Alvarez, Rodriguez performance would’ve been the highlight of the show, as he was pretty electric.
Now he will be facing by far his toughest opponent as a pro, but he has enough dog in him to rely upon in spots where it could potentially get tough, and is a very live opponent in this one. It’s been a long time since Pedraza has gone up against a young fighter with this magnitude of hunger, and he will need to be ready, because Rodriguez is strong, mentally, and physically, ready, and will be bringing it to him. This will be the co-main event to the Stevenson/Nakathila card, and will be broadcast on ESPN & ESPN+.