Puerto Rican boxer José Pedraza knocked down Mexican Raymundo Beltrán in the eleventh round and overcame him by way of a unanimous decision in the fight for the lightweight title of the World Organization of Boxing (OMB)
Before 4,502 attendees at the “Gila River Arena”, in Glendale (Arizona), Pedraza, former junior lightweight world champion, was credited with qualifications in favor of the three judges who gave him 117-110, 117-110 and 115-112 in a fight agreed to 12 episodes.
For the Puerto Rican it was his second world title and his victory allows him to secure a title unification fight with fellow champion Vasiliy Lomachenko of Ukraine, which will surely take place next December.
Although throughout the fight the exchange of punishment was constant on the part of both fighters, Pedraza found his best fight, punishing both the head and the body with more power than the Mexican.
In the second round, Beltran, who won a vacant 135-pound world title by decision in a tough fight against Paulus Moses in February, already had traces of punishment on his face.
Later, Beltran, who is 35-8-1, 21 knockouts, 37 years old, and who has lived in Phoenix for 16 years, had a cut below his left eyebrow.
Beltrán wanted to change tactics in the fourth round by pressing with a boxing forward and looking to land punches, but Pedraza used his increased leg speed to get out of the penalty zone.
Starting in the fifth round, Beltrán was trying to stop Pedraza, who stopped throwing jabs and had slowed down the pace of the fight, becoming an easier target for the Mexican.
For the ninth round, the bleeding that Beltrán presented increased due to the punishment that the Puerto Rican sent him and a terrible job from his corner team that could never close the wound.
The 29-year-old Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs) returned to his starting tactic and jabbed again in the 10th, but had changed guard and was punishing with his left hand.
The changing of the guard worked for the Puerto Rican, as it threw the Mexican out of control and on the eleventh lap Pedraza landed a precise left-hand uppercut that landed in the face, and with which he sent him to the canvas.
Beltrán recovered during the protection count and continued to fight, but Pedraza forced him to take refuge to the ropes and landed several more punches at the end of the round.
In the twelfth round, the assistants were on their feet, but Beltrán could not overcome the fight of the Puerto Rican, who took him back to the ropes and in the last seconds of the fight he hit him with several blows to the head and body.
It took Beltrán four tries and 19 years to win the world title, and he lost it in his first show, just six months after winning it.
According to the computer, Pedraza landed 160 of 556 (29 percent) hits, while Beltran made good 137 of 515 (27 percent).