On a well packed undercard of Badou Jack’s unification fight with James DeGale, the home of the Brooklyn Nets will host a 50/50 world title contest between two unbeaten young fighters.
Both current IBF Super Featherweight champion Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza 22-0(12KO’s) and Floyd Mayweather protégé Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis 16-0(15KO’s) are just set to scratch the surface on what could be two very
Pedraza has the greater experience of the two, and certainly had an easier maiden title shot to what Davis will have on Saturday night. Andrey Klimov was the man beaten on points in June 2015, but that was followed up by a disappointing display against a willy veteran in Edner Cherry – many will remember him for his contest with a young Timothy Bradley nearly 9 years ago.
Pedraza performing well in 2014 in this stoppage win against Juan Carlos Martinez:
Cherry was only defeated on a split decision on that occasion, before Pedraza’s one and only contest of 2016 was a close call as well, against Stephen Smith in the Liverpudlian’s first of two world title attempts last year.
Like the champion, Davis is a flashy fighter, minus the experience. But nevertheless, he has breathed effortless class sweeping aside opponents on the route to this early world title contest.
But Mayweather is not afraid of putting his young prizefighters in tough world title contests early. In the case of Robert Easter Jr, it worked a treat, as the 25-year old won gold in just his 18th pro outing
But for the 22-year old Davis, he has not quite been afforded a contest with an Argenis Mendez type opponent heading into this large step-up.
Davis’ southpaw stance may cause problems for the champion, but one worries that if Davis’ punching power is unable to rock Pedraza early, then the challenger’s confidence will droop and the contest will shift to a pattern where Pedraza is happy to drag him into the later stages where he would ease to a late stoppage or points win.
But in a contest that deserves a lot more attention than it is currently
receiving, I will take a punt on Davis producing an eye-popping
performance against a champion not quite at his peak.
The speed and low stance of Davis will cause problems early for Pedraza, and it is in these early stages that Davis can wreak havoc.
Davis can be out boxed, but his explosive nature, combined with Pedraza not being the finished article he has the potential to be, this could be the big breakout performance to start 2017.
After an explosive start, Davis may have to extend himself to win the world title, but the risky pick is for Davis to elevate himself into a whole new bracket with a knockout victory inside the fight’s first half.