Pedraza vs Lomachenko Live,Everything you need to know about Vasyl Lomachenko vs Jose Pedraza. Fight news, tape, ringwalk time, TV channel, latest odds & ticket details.
Tonight at 9 pm ET on ESPN, Vasiliy Lomachenko returns to headline in a lightweight unification bout against Jose Pedraza, the main event of a tripleheader from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.
Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KO) will be defending his WBA “super world” lightweight title, while Pedraza (25-1, 12 KO) is putting up his WBO belt. Lomachenko is the favorite, but he did struggle some in his lightweight debut against Jorge Linares, before putting Linares down and out in the 10th round. Lomachenko is also coming off of shoulder surgery, and Pedraza is a good enough fighter to exploit any weakness in Lomachenko, so it should be a solid main event at worst, and if nothing else, it’s always a treat to see Loma in action.
In the co-feature, Isaac Dogboe (20-0, 14 KO) will defend his WBO super bantamweight title against Emanuel Navarrete (25-1, 22 KO). Dogboe has been one of boxing’s breakout stars in 2018, stopping Cesar Juarez, Jessie Magdaleno, and Hidenori Otake in a trio of great performances this year, and he’s looking to end his year strong.
Also in action will be lightweight prospect Teofimo Lopez (10-0, 8 KO), who takes on Mason Menard (34-3, 24 KO) in a 10-round bout.
For the second straight year, pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko of Ukraine will get the benefit of what should be a large platform in front of a huge audience when he returns to the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York to defend his title.
Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs), who forced Guillermo Rigondeaux to quit last December in their 130-pound title bout, will defend his WBA lightweight title this time around in a unification against WBO champion Jose Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs). The placement and timing of the broadcast is significant (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET) because it immediately follows the Heisman Trophy ceremony, giving promoter Top Rank another opportunity to showcase Lomachenko’s wizardry to the masses.
The 30-year-old two-time Olympic gold medalist is expected to face a decent challenge against Pedraza, a native of Puerto Rico and former 130-pound titleholder who moved up to outpoint Rey Beltran in August. You wouldn’t necessarily know that, however, looking at the betting odds where Lomachenko stands as an overwhelmingly massive favorite.
Still, Lomachenko enters fresh off of shoulder surgery in his first fight since claiming his lightweight belt in a spectacular May knockout of Jorge Linares when Lomachenko, in his first fight headlining the big arena at MSG, was forced to get up off the canvas to win.
One thing that fight seemed to do for Lomachenko is let him realize that his ceiling in weight after claiming three titles in as many weight classes through just 12 pro fights might be where he stands now at 135 pounds.
“It was the first time I was knocked down as a pro,” Lomachenko said. “After the knockdown, I came back and finished the fight. It was a tough fight, but I showed the heart of a champion.
“I believe I’ll stay at 135 and focus on 135 because when I fought against Linares, I felt like he was bigger than me. In my weight class and closer to my weight class, we don’t have a big superstar. Yes, we have big names at 147, but I can’t move up to 147 now because it’s too much [weight], I think.”