This past Saturday, Puerto Rico's Jose "The Sniper" Pedraza fulfilled a lifelong dream when he picked up the IBF world super featherweight championship with a flawless performance against once-beaten contender Andrey Klimov. With the impressive showing, Pedraza, who improved to a perfect 20-0, 12KO's, with the near shutout victory, clearly cemented himself as the next rising star to come out of the island.
"Words cannot express how happy I am right now," said Pedraza. "I have sacrificed my life for the last 14 years to become a world champion. This was a long, hard road, but it is a dream come true. Every fighter thinks about this day, and now that I am here, I plan on reigning for many years to come. I want to thank my manager Al Haymon, my father, and my promoters for believing in me and giving me this opportunity."
"From Wilfredo Gomez to Felix Trinidad to Miguel Cotto, Puerto Rico has a legendary boxing history. Former Olympian Jose Pedraza, a newly crowned world champion, continues this great tradition. The possibilities are limitless for this young star, as he begins his title reign and continues to carry the mantel of great Puerto Rican champions," said promoter Lou DiBella.
"I am extremely happy and excited for Jose and what the future holds for him. He has spent many years, and countless hours of work to get to this point. It is an honor to be a part of this promotional team and I'm thrilled to be working with Al Haymon and my good friend and partner Lou DiBella in guiding Jose's future," said promoter Javier Bustillo.
"Pedraza once again showed he's an elite fighter winning his first world title in dominating fashion," said promoter Gary Shaw. "When I discovered him in the amateurs, I knew he was a special talent. His ability to make adjustments on the fly is what separates him from the rest of the champions. Puerto Rico has a shining star in Pedraza that they can be proud of."