Lomachenko vs Pedraza

Lomachenko Vs. Pedraza: How To Live Stream, Fight Preview, Purses, Odds

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Vasiliy Lomachenko won’t be facing a top-notch lightweight when he steps into the ring on Saturday night on ESPN and ESPN+. Mikey Garcia won’t be his opponent. Neither will a tall talent like Robert Easter who could make life a little tougher for Lomachenko. Instead, Lomachenko will face Jose Pedraza. And because Pedraza beat Ray Beltran, Lomachenko will get the chance to unify 135-pound titles if he can score the victory.

Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs) is a solid opponent, but he’s also a huge underdog vs. Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs). Though the early betting odds were a somewhat reasonable line of Lomachenko at -1200 and Pedraza at +700, the money has overwhelmingly came in on Lomachenko. As of Friday afternoon, Lomachenko was a -3500 favorite, meaning you’d have to bet $3,500 on him to win $100. Meanwhile, Pedraza was +1200, which means you’d earn $1,200 if you bet $100 on him to triumph.

But whenever Lomachenko—who reportedly will make about a $2 million purse vs. Pedraza’s $1 million payday—fights, it’s a must-watch for boxing fans. Here are three good reasons to tune in on Saturday.

1) Lomachenko is mortal: In his last fight, Lomachenko actually was knocked down by Jorge Linares and suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery. Will that procedure hold him back in any way vs. Pedraza? Probably not. But it’s also a talking point and perhaps a cause for concern (though Lomachenko also seemed to enjoy a few months of vacation away from the sport as he recovered from a torn labrum). “I had hard sparring sessions and good preparation for this fight,” Lomachenko said. “I used all of my punches, and I think it will be the same as before [the surgery].”

2) The Beltran fight gave Pedraza confidence: Beltran, though not an elite fighter, was certainly a solid titlist, and he was scheduled to meet Lomachenko next for a big-money fight. Instead, Pedraza knocked down Beltran in the 11th round during their August match and outfought him to score a unanimous decision win. That’s given Pedraza a burst of confidence. “I have visualized all the possible scenarios,” Pedraza said. “I’ve seen myself winning. I’ve seen myself knocking him out. I’ve seen myself pulling out the victory coming from behind. The closer the fight approaches, the more I see myself with my hands held high and with the two titles on my shoulders.”

3) Lomachenko still wants Garcia: The biggest-money fight that can be made in the division is Lomachenko vs. Garcia. Instead, Garcia is opting to fight Errol Spence at welterweight, leaving Lomachenko as the top man at 135 pounds for now. But Lomachenko still is hungering for Garcia. “Seriously, I want a fight with Mikey Garcia,” Lomachenko said. “I think this fight will happen.” Even if Garcia loses to Spence—and he’s a sizable underdog for their March get together—a Lomachenko vs. Garcia fight, assuming Lomachenko beats Pedraza, would still be awfully marketable.

Lomachenko vs. Pedraza: How to live stream it

Lomachenko vs. Pedraza—along with the undercard bouts of Isaac Dogboe vs. Emanuel Navarrete for Dogboe’s junior featherweight title and Teofimo Lopez vs. Mason Menard—will air on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET and on the network’s OTT service ESPN+.

ESPN+ will also show at least four other undercard bouts beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

ESPN+ costs $4.99 per month but first-time subscribers will receive a seven-day free trial. You can try it out here.

After more than a decade in the newspaper business writing about virtually every professional and major college sport for publications like the Cincinnati Post and the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, I joined CBSSports.com and covered the NFL for five years. While doing so, I wrote…

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