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Home » Arnold Barbosa decisions Jose Pedraza, Nico Ali Walsh goes 8-0

Arnold Barbosa decisions Jose Pedraza, Nico Ali Walsh goes 8-0

Arnold Barboza Jr. (28-0, 10 KOs) defended his WBO Intercontinental junior welterweight title with a unanimous decision win over former two-division world champion Jose Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs).

Barboza boxed intelligently from the outside, landing quick combos that Pedraza had difficulty avoiding. On his part, Pedraza was able to close the distance on many occasions, but he often did so without throwing a jab, so it made it difficult for him to enter without receiving a lot of punishment.

As the rounds progressed, Pedraza did his best to land punches to the body, but Barboza would often smother the Puerto Rican’s offense and use his footwork to evade more shots.

The later rounds were tough, but Barboza prevailed by scores of 97-93 and 96-94 2x.

“I was making the fight easy for the first five or six rounds, but I wanted to stay in there and start brawling. Pedraza is a tough guy. All training camp we were working against southpaws, but he did a good job of switching to southpaw in the middle of the fight.

“It’s hard fighting a guy like him with a lot of experience,” Barboza said. “I think I’ve paid my dues. I want a title shot. I want Regis Prograis, Alberto Puello, or the winner of the IBF title or the WBO title. If I can’t get them, everyone knows who I want: Teofimo Lopez.”

Middleweights: Nico Ali Walsh (8-0, 5 KOs) overcame a hometown disadvantage with a dominant six-round unanimous decision win over Phoenix’s Eduardo Ayala (9-3-1, 3 KOs). Walsh scored a knockdown in the second round, but Ayala, who was backed by a packed crowd of his supporters, was undeterred and was able to go the distance. Scores: 60-53 and 59-54 2x.

Ali Walsh said, “He was a big guy, and I wanted to show that I could muscle him around on the inside. Ayala was the hometown favorite. That was a new experience for me, but it was a valuable one.”