After it was announced that WBO lightweight champion Raymundo Beltran will make his first title defense against mandatory challenger Roman Andreev, plans have changed due to an unforeseen circumstance.
Andreev has pulled out of the fight due to an appendicitis attack and underwent surgery, leaving him unable to train for the fight. Andreev was supposed to fight Beltran in the main event of an August 25 Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card in Arizona.
With Andreev out of the fight, Top Rank quickly matched Beltran with WBO Latino lightweight champion Jose Pedraza, the WBO’s No. 2 ranked lightweight. Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told ESPN of Beltran vs. Pedraza moving forward as the new main event.
“Full speed ahead with Pedraza now with no impediments,” Moretti said. “Stylistically, I think it’s a sensational matchup because usually when Ray Beltran fights he’s never in a boring fight. And Pedraza is extremely confident and we believe that he is a much better fight at 135 pounds than at 130.”
Pedraza was a former super featherweight champion with plans of moving up in weight after his January 2017 fight against Gervonta Davis. Pedraza lost his title against Davis, but has since then won both of his fights, both at lightweight, with his most recent win coming in the co-main event bout of Terence Crawford’s WBO welterweight title win over Jeff Horn last month.
Beltran has yet to defend the title that he won back in February. Top Rank, who promotes both Beltran and Pedraza, recently won a purse bid for the Beltran vs. Andreev fight before it got scrapped.
The co-main event of the August 25 card will Isaac Dogboe vs. Hidenori Otake for the WBO super bantamweight title.