Vasiliy Lomachenko is returning to Madison Square Garden for another big fight in the main event.
Top Rank Boxing announced that Lomachenko, the WBA lightweight champion, will fight WBO champion Jose Pedraza in a title unification on December 8. The fight will headline a card on ESPN from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
This will be Lomachenko’s first fight as the WBA champion at 135 pounds since undergoing surgery for a torn labrum. Lomachenko won the WBA title back in May at Madison Square Garden when he knocked out then-champion Jorge Linares in the 10th round. Lomachenko is currently one of two boxers in history to win a world title in three weight classes on his 12th professional fight. Before the win over Linares, Lomachenko headlined a December 2017 Top Rank on ESPN card at MSG where he defeated former super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Pedraza, a former IBF super featherweight champion, won the WBO lightweight title back in August with a win over Raymundo Beltran. Beltran lucked into the title fight as European champion Roman Andreev was actually supposed to be the one fighting Beltran for the title last month, but Andreev withdrew from the fight because he underwent an appendectomy in early July.
Top Rank had plans to have the unification fight take place in Los Angeles but ESPN requested a change of venue to Madison Square Garden because the network wanted the fight to immediately go live after the college football Heisman Trophy ceremony, which is also taking place at the venue that night.