The two-weight world champion nevertheless believes that the ambitious Davis made a matchmaking mistake when he chose to oppose Pedraza next. Davis (9-0, 6 KOs, 1 NC), of Norfolk, Virginia, and Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs), of Cidra, Puerto Rico, will fight Thursday night, nearly two months later than initially planned because the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation suspended Davis for 90 days for testing positive for marijuana around the time of his 10-round, majority-decision victory over Nahir Albright on October 14 at Fort Bend Epicenter in Rosenberg, Texas. “Yes, definitely, [Davis] made a mistake,” Pedraza said during a press conference Tuesday in Las Vegas. “But I did, too, in accepting the fight with him. We make mistakes. But like I said, at this level of my career you have to accept any fight. And so, I’m very prepared, like I’ve said before. But he’s gonna have a long night, Keyshawn, so be prepared.”
Pedraza, who is 0-2-1 in his past three fights, will end a one-year layoff when he faces Davis in a 10-round lightweight bout on the Teofimo Lopez-Jamaine Ortiz undercard at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas. The former IBF junior lightweight and WBO lightweight champion hasn’t fought since he lost a 10-round unanimous decision to Arnold Barboza Jr. (29-0, 11 KOs) last February 3 at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The 24-year-old Davis doesn’t think his own most recent fight was as competitive as two judges scored it. John Basile scored the Davis-Albright bout a draw, 95-95, whereas Robert Hoyle (96-94) and David Sutherland (97-93) credited Davis for winning six and seven rounds, respectively. Regardless, a motivated Davis, whose win against Albright was changed to a no-contest, assured Pedraza that the 34-year-old veteran is the one who made a mistake by accepting their fight, not him. “Hey, I love to fight,” said Davis, an Olympic silver medalist in 2021. “I love to fight. I’m coming into the fight knowing I have a fight, but I love to fight. Boxing, putting on gloves, that ain’t nothing. Like, I fight. You understand what I’m saying? So, he talkin’ about I’m gonna have a long night. I’m gonna make it a long night for his ass. I’m the younger fighter, quicker fighter. I don’t care about none of your experience. I don’t care who you think you are – I don’t care. I love to fight. So, let’s make it a long night.” ESPN will televise Davis-Pedraza at the start of a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT). Las Vegas’ Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) will make his first defense of the WBO junior welterweight title when he opposes Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs), of Worcester, Massachusetts, in the 12-round main event.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for themusicboxingmachine.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.