A packed house at Madison Square Garden was treated to a fantastic display of technical boxing by Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko on his way to defeating Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza. The victory unified Lomachenko’s WBO and WBA titles. In a fight that was largely uneventful and one for the purists up until Round 11, Pedraza earned a good deal of respect for holding out against a flurry that looked to have the fight coming to a close.
Lomachenko had used his hook sparingly in the opening rounds, but it was just the punch that got things started in the 11th. With around a minute and a half left on the clock, the Ukrainian found his range and began to tee off. With Pedraza defending but slowing, Lomachenko had what looked to be free reign.
Unloading strike after strike, landing several Pedraza was able to withstand for about 40 seconds before going down. Taking a knee, the Peurto Rican welcomed the break. But upon restart, Loma picked up where he left off and after another few seconds, Pedraza was back down. Satisfying the referee that he was fit to continue, the bell rang shortly after.
Whilst it was an amazing display of a solid chin and tremendous defensive resilience, the fight belonged to Lomachenko. The three judges scored the fight 119-107, 117-109 and 117-109. Pedraza lost his WBO lightweight title and it was his first defeat since January 2017. Lomachenko improved to 12-1 in a sterling career that continues to turn heads.