Pedraza, Ajagba triumph in Vegas

Jose Pedraza Vs Javier Molina Action5
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Former two-weight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (28-3, 13 KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over 2008 U.S. Olympian Javier “El Intocable” Molina (22-3, 9 KOs) in a junior welterweight bout on Saturday night inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas “Bubble.” Pedraza pretty much controlled the whole fight. Scores were 99-91, 98-02, 98-92.

“They do name me the ‘Sniper,’ and that means I have to be patient, and when my moment comes, I have to take advantage of it,” said Pedraza. “That’s what I did tonight because I was able to wear him down, break him down and make him fight my fight. It was the experience that I’ve had at the top level that helped me finally put it together. I’ve had the experience. I’ve had the talent, and it’s just on a night like this that I’m happy I could put it all together.”

“I do believe I’m ready for a world title opportunity. Whoever it happens to be between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez, I want the winner of that fight. If for some reason I can’t get a world title shot against them, I do want to respectfully ask Jose Zepeda for the rematch.”

Efe Ajagba Vs Jonnie Rice Action6
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

In his Top Rank debut, unbeaten heavyweight Efe Ajagba (14-0, 11 KOs) took a workmanlike ten round unanimous decision over Jonnie Rice (13-6-1, 9 KOs). Ajagba got the win (98-92, 99-91, 99-91), but didn’t impress. He may have suffered a hand injury.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez (5-1, 3 KOs) cruised past Felix Caraballo (13-3-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-rounder at featherweight. Ramirez, who avenged his lone pro defeat on July 2, won by scores of 80-72, 80-72, 79-73.

Undefeated junior middleweight Leo Ruiz (8-0, 5 KOs) punished game Rodrigo Solis (4-5-1, 2 KOs) for six rounds en route to a 58-54, 59-53, 59-53 unanimous decision. Both fighters were deducted points in round five. Ruiz for a low blow and Solis for spitting out his mouthpiece.

Unbeaten super middleweight Christian Montano (10-0, 7 KOs) had to work hard for a six round unanimous decision over Ryan Adams (7-3-1, 6 KOs). Scores were 58-56, 60-54, 60-54..

Undefeated lightweight Bryan Lua (6-0, 3 KOs) fighting for the first time in more than two years, knocked out Luis Norambuena (4-7-1, 0 KOs) in the second round. A left hook laid out Norambuena at 2:27. Nice KO.

17-year-old welterweight Jahi Tucker won his professional debut with a first round TKO over Deandre Anderson (1-2, 0 KOs). Time was 2:56.

17-year-old welterweight Kasir “Mazzi” Goldston won his professional debut with a four round unanimous decision over Isaiah Varnell (3-3, 2 KOs). Scores were 40-36, 39-37, 39-37.

Results from Managua
Hammer, Boots, King Tug victorious

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  • How come I can’t find this on ESPN+? I can only find the weigh in on demand but not the fight card? Also couldn’t find it in the live and upcoming?

  • Unfortunately, Ajagba has not found his boxing offensive rhythm, and I suspect he may never find it. Ajagba is physically strong, but his robotic style may prevent him from reaching his boxing apex. Somebody needs to spray “WD-40” on Ajagba.

    That “WD-40” spray may involve more combination punching drills, videos of past Heavyweight Champions, more balance drills and/or gym music with good rhythms to it.

    During Ajagba’s next 3-5 fights, I will keep the door open for him, but I am now firmly grabing the door handle.

    • Agree. Ajagba like so many heavyweights somehow especially nowadays, seems to run out of ideas in a fight.

      • Henry, well said. I agree, Ajagba needs to move at angles and create openings rather than throwing the one-two and coming in straight ahead. Ajagba needs to be create a better versatile package and maybe even consult with a better trainer for assistance.

  • After the first couple of rounds, Pedraza took over and dominated Molina for the rest of the fight. Molina was predictable and didn’t move his head much. Pedraza, on the other hand, used his head entirely too much. Whenever he missed his shots, his head followed. That made for a lot of headbutts, most of them caused by Pedraza. Despite all the headbutts, it was an impressive showing by Pedraza and kept him in the conversation for a future title shot.

    As for Ajagba, he looked really slow and was hit way too often with a right hand. He has a good left jab and a straight right, but no left hook. He sure could have used one tonight. His footwork also left a lot to be desired as he had trouble dealing with the movement of Rice.This fight showed how Ajagba would do against a mover who punches back. The verdict: not very well.

    I had great hopes for Ajagba based on his early fights, but his limitations have been really glaring in his last few fights. He needs to go back to the drawing board and develop a left hook to go with his one-two combination. Despite his atrocious footwork, the addition of a left hook may put him over the top against most of the heavyweight contenders today.

  • I see not much chance for Pedraza against guys like Ramirez, Taylor, Prograis and even Postol or Hooker, but I can see his chances against Mario Barrios or Ismael Barroso. I hope he finds his way to a title shot, Pedraza has earned that.
    I would like to see Efe Alagba being tested by a guy like Bryant Jennings or Carlos Takam to evaluate better his real potential, so far I am not really convinced about him

  • Unfortunately I think one is done at 140 and the other is done at 135, but the fight I’d most like to see Pedraza in now would probably be against Jorge Linares.

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