Keyshawn Davis, the U.S. Olympic runner-up, is itching for a crack at the world title, but he’s gotta rumble through a seasoned champ from two divisions first.
This Thursday, Feb. 8, Davis squares off with Jose “Sniper” Pedraza for a ten-round clash in the lightweight division, lighting up the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Vegas.
The Davis-Pedraza tussle is the appetizer to the junior welterweight tangle between WBO and Ring Magazine champ Teofimo Lopez and Jamaine Ortiz.
Hyped by Top Rank and buddies, with tickets up for grabs at AXS.com, this boxing feast is not to be missed.
Watch live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 10:30 p.m. ET, because this is where the gloves come off.
Davis, hailing from Norfolk, Virginia, with a shiny 9-0 record, is busting out of the prospect shell and gunning for the title. Fresh off a year of dropping opponents left and right, he’s not slowing down. Pedraza, the Puerto Rican warrior with titles in two divisions and a record of 29-5-1, is stepping back down to lightweight, ready to throw down after some gritty junior welterweight bouts.
Post-workout at the Top Rank Gym, Davis shared some pearls:
“I’m all in, pushing the limits with two, sometimes three, workouts a day. The grind is real, but it’s shaping me up for what’s ahead.”
“I’m not just ticking days off the calendar; I’m making every day a step towards greatness.”
“This bout is massive for me. I’m sure Pedraza is on the same page. Stepping into the ring with a fighter of his caliber, with belts from two divisions, it’s got me locked in like never before.”
“Hats off to Pedraza for stepping up. He’s mixed it up with the best, headlined shows, and now he’s giving me the shot to prove my mettle. Beating Pedraza doesn’t just win me the fight; it puts me in the spotlight.”
“Sniper” Pedraza vs. Keyshawn Davis – “I Am Not a Stepping Stone!”
Yesterday, in the heart of Cidra, Puerto Rico, Jose “Sniper” Pedraza, a former champ in two weight classes, threw a media shindig at Felix Pagan Pintor Municipal Boxing Gym. This muscle-flexing session was all about hyping up his upcoming 10-round scrap with Keyshawn Davis, scheduled for Feb. 8 at the swanky Michelob ULTRA Arena, Mandalay Bay, Vegas.
The Davis-Pedraza tussle is playing second fiddle to the main event – a junior welterweight tangle between Teofimo Lopez, the reigning WBO and Ring Magazine champ, and Jamaine Ortiz.
Top Rank, alongside Takeover Promotions and CES Boxing, are the big dogs behind this event. If you’re itching for a ticket, AXS.com’s got you covered.
For those couch-side fans, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ are broadcasting the fist-flying action live at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.
Pedraza took the IBF junior lightweight title off Andrey Klimov back in June 2015 and defended it twice. Then he upped his game, becoming a two-weight world champ by knocking over Rey Beltran for the WBO lightweight title in August 2018. Despite a hiccup against Vasiliy Lomachenko and moving up to 140 pounds, Pedraza’s been giving the likes of Jose Zepeda, Jose Ramirez, and a few other tough guys a run for their money. Now, he’s eyeing another world title shot back in the lightweight division. Davis (9-0, 6 KOs), a silver medalist from the U.S. Olympics, is bouncing back from a controversial win over Nahir Albright last October, which ended up being called a no contest.
Here’s the lowdown from Pedraza and his trainer, Luis Espada, at the workout:
JOSÉ “SNIPER” PEDRAZA
“It’s been nearly a year since I’ve duked it out in the ring. Needed a bit of a breather, you know? In Puerto Rico, we say ‘my veins are itching’ – means I’m rearing to go. This training camp’s been top-notch. Been sparring like mad, sprinting up Jajome’s mountains, and lifting weights like there’s no tomorrow. I’m in killer shape for this fight.”
“My plan? Unleash a storm of punches on him. I’ll be darting around, too, making the most of my ring smarts. Sure, the kid’s got youth, but I’ve got the smarts. He better watch his step – I’m nobody’s ‘stepping stone’.”
“The kid’s talented, quick on his feet, and loves to counterpunch. But I’m all set to dazzle everyone and vault back into the world title scene. Aiming for that third world championship to really etch my name in Puerto Rican boxing lore.”
“This clash is all about the old guard versus the new blood. We’ve prepped Pedraza for a real slobberknocker. Brought back his old physical trainer, Andrés Melendez, and the gang that saw him through his glory days. We’ve even bridged that 10-year age gap with our training.”
“We’re talking top form here. We ran a crazy 36-minute sparring marathon – no breaks – with fresh sparring partners every two minutes. Pedraza was smashing it in the final minute like it was minute one. Trust me, the guy’s a machine.”