It is personal for former two-division world champion and current lightweight contender Jose “Sniper” Pedraza. His opponent May 25 at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida, is Antonio Lozada Jr., who in March of last year knocked out then-undefeated Felix Verdejo in the 10th round. Verdejo and Pedraza both hail from Puerto Rico, and Pedraza, who is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Vasiliy Lomachenko, hopes to avenge his countryman’s defeat.
Pedraza-Lozada will serve as the co-feature to Masayuki Ito’s WBO junior lightweight title defense against Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring on ESPN.
“I want to get rid of that thorn (avenging Verdejo’s loss against Lozada), but I have to modify my words,” says Pedraza. “I’m not going for revenge necessarily because only Felix can take revenge on Lozada. As the good Puerto Rican brothers that we are, I’m coming to take that thorn out because he beat one of my longtime friends. I’m coming to win this fight!”
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The undercard is chock full of young Puerto Rican talent, including 130-pound puncher Henry Lebron (8-0, 6 KOs) and super flyweight contender Jeyvier Cintron (10-0, 5 KOs). Lebron will face Luis Lizarraga Jr. (6-12-1, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder, while Cintron, a two-time Puerto Rican Olympian, will battle former interim flyweight world champion Koki Eto (24-4-1, 19 KOs) in a 10-rounder.