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Jose Pedraza: ‘Gervonta Davis is a cheap imitation of Floyd Mayweather’

13
Jan

The kid has a face you don’t read as one of a prizefighter. He could be the guy who handles your bank deposit, who manages the bodega. He could be anyone. There are no scars or a bent or flattened nose to hint that Jose Pedraza has earned his keep the hard way but the kid nicknamed “Sniper” has, and he’s done more than earn middling keep. He’s snagged a title belt while fighting at super featherweight and, on Saturday night, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the 27-year-old Puerto Rican is poised to steal the show.

He’ll tango with younger gun Gervonta Davis, whose talent so excited his promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. that “Money” showered the quick-fisted hurler with goodies galore as he exulted in landing someone who showed flashes of Mayweatherian brilliance.

That undercard scrap, to unfold on Showtime, in support of the super middleweight title unification bout between IBF titlist James DeGale and WBC beltholder Badou Jack, excites much of the media knee-deep in this fight week coverage and, also, judging by public opinion from a Twitter sampling, a healthy sample of fight fans. The 22-0 (12 knockouts) Puerto Rican has the experience edge. He’s beaten better foes, gotten and retained a belt and likely won’t fold early like so many overmatched Davis foes. He’s a busy boxer, comes forward, marries foot movement and accurate launches smartly. His nickname comes to mind when he dials in with a left hook to the body. He doesn’t neglect defense, which is helpful against a bomber like Davis, who reps Baltimore proudly.

I chatted with Pedraza at the famed and fabled Gleason’s Gym in DUMBO, Brooklyn and asked his thoughts heading into fight night. In Spanish, he told me that he isn’t put off by Davis’ social media stances, in which he predicts his star will rise to the moon. “He’s just a cheap imitation of Floyd Mayweather and like all imitations, never the same quality as the original!”

Pedraza was asked if he’s underrated among Puerto Rican standouts. No, he said, “They know my quality; that’s why they avoid fighting (me). I believe I’m the best at 130 pounds.”

Prediction, please, Pedraza: “I’m ready to fight, any type of fight, with my experience.” The question is: Is he ready to fight any type of fight? “I don’t like to do predictions but if he gets tired, he’s going to have trouble in the late rounds.” Indeed, Pedraza stays focused, doesn’t get sloppy late, doesn’t forget to invest and target the body late, so yes, if it goes late, Davis could well be swimming in a deeper pool than he ever has, with no life preserver. “I’m predicting a knockdown in the late rounds.”

Talk to me, readers. Who do you like and how?

 

 

 

Interestingly enough, Michael Woods gave himself the nickname “Sniper” due to his ability to fire off quick shots of boxing news over the course of a day. In. Bang. Out. We changed it to “Diaper” because, sometimes, he’s full of it.

 

 

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