Jose Pedraza defeated Ray Beltran by unanimous decision for the WBO lightweight title at Gila River Arena in Glendale on Saturday night, working behind a pinpoint jab from both orthodox and southpaw stances, but it was a short, left uppercut that made the difference.

Midway through the 11th round, Pedraza caught Beltran coming in and knocked the Phoenix-based fighter onto his backside.

Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs) dominated the rest of the way, and one round later closed the fight by trapping Beltran in the corner and firing a series of right and left hooks.

Pedraza lived up to his “Sniper” nickname early, opening a cut over Beltran’s left eye.

Beltran (35-8-1, 21 KOs), a former sparring partner of Phoenix legend Michael Carbajal and Manny Paquiao, was wiping blood by the second round.

It was clear that if Pedraza stayed at a distance, he would have a clear path to victory.

Beltran won the middle rounds by turning the fight into a brawl, and his corner did fine work to keep the bleeding under control.

Pedraza, however, picked away throughout the fight, and by the eighth round, Pedraza was landing flush with right hooks from a southpaw stance.

Pedraza scored at will with jabs.

Beltran pressed and closed distance, but couldn’t avoid shots.

The judges scored it 117-110 (twice) and 115-112, all for the challenger Pedraza.

Pedraza has likely earned himself a big-money fight against Vasyl Lomachenko.


Junior featherweight Isaac Dogboe (20-0, 14 KOs) stopped veteran Hidenori Otake (21-3-3, 14 KOs) with a barrage of rights and lefts that prompted the referee to stop the fight with 42 seconds to go in the first round.

Dogboe, the WBO champion, put Otake down twice before the fight was stopped, first with a blistering left hook that came with both fighters standing flatfooted in the center of the ring. The second knockdown came on a straight right hand that caught the Japanese challenger on the temple, prompting him to touch his glove to the canvas.

Dogboe said he wanted to start fast, but that he was surprised to be able to end it so quickly.

“We knew he was very strong,” Dogboe said. “We knew he could go all the way.  We made our mind up, we’re coming in hot, bringing the heat, trying to take him out as quickly as possible.”

The 23-year-old Dogboe, a Ghanaian-born Brit, is considered a rising star.

“I want to unify the division,” he said. “(Rey) Vargas, Daniel Roman, step up to the front. Step up to the plate. Let’s make this happen. The best has to fight the best.

“I’m looking forward to getting a lot of titles. One here, one here,” he said patting each shoulder. “And one for my waist.”

The 122-pound division isn’t known for glamor, but the power Dogboe displayed with each hand is sure to draw attention.

“When I hit him with that powerful hook,” Dogboe said. “… I felt the holy spirit.”


Mikaela Mayer (7-0, 4 KOs) made easy work of Edina Kiss (15-8, 9 KOs), who quit on her stool at the end of the third round.

Mayer, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, knocked down Kiss, of Hungary, in the first 15 seconds of the fight with a straight right hand.

Mayer knew early on that she had the edge.

“She looked away from my eyes,” Mayer said. “I knew I was gonna take it to her.”

Mayer will have to find competition that can test her as she climbs the ladder toward a title shot.

“The amateurs gave me experience that a lot of these girls don’t have,” she said.

The fight was broadcast on ESPN, making it her largest audience as a pro, but she said it didn’t faze her. She didn’t even realize it.

Between rounds, she thought, “Holy s—, I’m on ESPN.”

Reach Moore at [email protected] or 602-444-2236. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @WritingMoore.