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Keyshawn Davis dispenses of Jose Pedraza in six on the Lopez-Ortiz undercard

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Keyshawn Davis punishes Jose Pedraza with a right cross during their lightweight bout in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

by Joseph Santoliquito | 

LAS VEGAS — Keyshawn Davis walked out with a beaming grin as if to say he knew something no one else knew—but were about to find out. The U.S. Olympic silver medalist was about to face his biggest test yet, former IBF junior weight and WBO lightweight titlist Jose “Sniper” Pedraza.

It took six rounds, but Davis (10-0, 7 knockouts) made his point known that he bears watching at 135 pounds after stopping Pedraza (29-6-1, 14 KOs) for the second time in his career with a sixth-round stoppage at 1:09.

It served as a great platform for Davis on the Teofimo Lopez Jr.-Jamaine Ortiz undercard at the Michelob ULTRA Arena inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

“Throughout this whole training camp, I’ve been saying that I’m the best at 135. Everyone kept saying, ‘You’ve got to get the stoppage. You’ve got to get the knockout,’” Davis said. “But I told everyone to not worry about it and just watch me work. And that’s exactly what happened. I got the stoppage.

“Teofimo has been doing a lot of talking lately. I’ll go up to 140 and fight Teofimo. What’s up?! Get this win tonight. You already know how I’m coming. You and your father. So let’s set it up. I’ll come straight to 140. Let’s go! And if you’re scared Teofimo, then {Emanuel} Navarrete. He is a great fighter. He is a hell of a fighter. It would be an honor to get in the ring with you after you capture the WBO title.

“So let’s do it.”

Davis landed 139 (47)/301 (46.2%) total punches to Pedraza’s 46 (11)/236 (19.5%).

In the opening round, Davis wisely backed up and Pedraza come to him. It was an uneventful round with neither fighter gaining any initiative. With 2:11 left in the second, Pedraza sting Davis with a right. The fighters, however, did more wrestling than fighting the first half of the round, before Davis nailed Pedraza with a one-two combo, and short right seconds before the round closed. Referee Tom Taylor was getting more work separating the fighters than the fighters themselves.

Keyshawn Davis stopped Jose Pedraza for the second time in his career (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

Davis began the third far more active. He went to the body, and the head. With 2:01 left in the round, he cleaved Pedraza’s high guard to connect with a straight right to the face. He slammed the veteran with punishing lefts to the body and used right uppercuts to the stomach and chest.

Pedraza could do little to keep Davis off him.

It was a dominant round for the 24-year-old from Norfolk, Virginia.

Pedraza began the fourth like he had the previous rounds—coming forward, stalking. The 34-year-old tried going to the body, and even grazed Davis with a sweeping right with 1:02 left in the round.

With 2:29 left in the fifth, Davis fell to the canvas, ruled immediately by Thomas to be a slip. Pedraza kept coming forward, and Davis kept picking him off as soon as he came into punching range. Davis proved to be the more accurate puncher, though not the heavier puncher.

Pedraza walked right through his counters.

With 2:39 left in the sixth, Pedraza touched the canvas, correctly again ruled a slip. But with 2:07 left in the round, Davis plunged a right into Pedraza’s head, and the former two-time titlist began to wilt. It was target practice from that point on, as Davis slammed shot after shot into the defenseless Pedraza, who retreated into a corner.

Thomas wisely stepped in and waved it over at 1:09.

Lightweight Rene Tellez Giron (19-3, 12 KOs) pulled off the second upset of the night by beating George Acosta (17-2, 3 KOs) with a unanimous eight-round decision. In the fifth round, Giron knocked the taller Acosta down with a right to the chin, set up by a left uppercut to the body. Giron then became the aggressor the remainder of the round. Giron wound up winning by scores of 79-72, 78-73 and 76-75.

Middleweight Javier “Milwaukee Made” Martinez (10-0-1, 3 KOs) won an eight-round unanimous decision over Raul Salomon (12-3, 10 KOs) by scores of 78-74 (2) and 79-73.

Abdullah Mason previously undefeated Benjamin Gurment in two (Photo by Mikey WIlliams/Top Rank).

Exciting 19-year-old Abdullah Mason (12-0, 10 KOs) kept up his impressive pace with a second-round knockout of previously undefeated Benjamin Gurment (8-1-3, 5 KOs). The Cleveland southpaw lightweight ended it with an overhand left at 1:29 of the scheduled eight-rounder.

Charlie Sheehy stayed perfect shutting out Abdel Sauceda (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank),

Lightweight Charlie Sheehy (9-0, 5 KOs) stayed perfect with an eight-round unanimous victory over Abdel Sauceda (12-4, 8 KOs) by shutout scores of 80-72 (3).

Lightweight Alan Garcia (11-0, 9 KOs) scored a first-round knockout at :51 over Tomas Ornelas (7-4, 5 KOs) in a scheduled six-rounder. In a scheduled six-round heavyweight bout, Lemir Isom-Riley (4-2, 2 KOs) pulled of an upset over Antonio Zepeda (6-2, 6 KOs), winning by third-round TKO at 1:28. In the first bout of the night, junior welterweight Art Barrera Jr. (3-0, 3 KOs) remained undefeated by stopping Michael Portales (3-3-1, 1 KO) at 1:41 of the first in a scheduled four-round fight.

 

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Follow @JSantoliquito

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Naoya Inoue is the first Japanese boxer to win The Ring’s Fighter-of-the-Year honor in the publication’s 95-year history of the prestigious award.

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