On a night when Vasiliy Lomachenko consolidated the WBA and WBO lightweight titles before a sell-out Madison Square Garden, his opponent Jose Pedraza earned praise for holding off an 11th round onslaught that looked certain to end the fight prematurely.
Knocked twice in the penultimate round of the hotly-anticipated bout, the Puerto Rican boxer somehow managed to reemerge for the 12th and finish the fight on his own steam.
In what ultimately resulted as a comfortable points decision in Lomachenko's favour, Jose Pedraza was widely commended for his sheer durability.
How did Pedraza survive that?
One of Loma’s greatest gifts—he almost never punches himself out.
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) December 9, 2018
Gotta respect Jose Pedraza heart. He took 42 power punches from Lomachenko in the 11th round. Comes out in the 12th and keeps fighting..
— FightNights.com (@boxing) December 9, 2018
Jose Pedraza is a tough mother fucker
— Mike Matias (@Mike__Dhcf) December 9, 2018
Just re-watched Loma-Pedraza. First 6 rounds I had level. Loma then stepped on the gas. Pedraza took the 10th for me before Loma dropped him twice in the 11th. Good win and props to Pedraza was tough and ballsy, but for me Loma wasn't 100% maybe still scared of that bad shoulder!
— Peter Keay (@Pedrokeay1) December 9, 2018
You can watch that astonishing onslaught from Vasiliy Lomachenko below.
42 power punches in the 11th from Lomachenko, unreal that Pedraza survived that onslaught pic.twitter.com/Kc2bUKKLxh
— Bryce Parker (@bryce_parker26) December 9, 2018
Although a comfortable win in the end for Vasiliy Lomachenko, certain viewers were not wholly convinced that the usual featherweight possessed all of the power he once displayed when contesting a lightweight bout.
Bryan Armen Graham of The Guardian reckoned that Lomachenko had not been "at his imperious best," boxing's "most technically proficient fighter was more than brilliant enough to come through with a sensational finishing kick."
As great as Loma is, he's a featherweight fighting at lightweight. These fights against bigger guys aren't easy, especially when they got skills like Linares & Pedraza. This is the best version of Pedraza, in his 4th fight of the year. Not inactive and drained like his 130 reign
— Rian Scalia (@rian5ca) December 9, 2018
Loma gets credit for winning the last two fights. One getting off the canvas and this one was pretty Workman like besides the 11th. But as I’ve been saying Bud Crawford is the best pound for pound fighter in the world
— Robert Littal (@BSO) December 9, 2018
Elsewhere however, the Ukrainian fighter was widely celebrated for what was yet another landmark win in a hugely impressive professional career.
One of the cool things about watching Lomachenko is how I always think how tired I would be fighting him because of his footwork, then remembering he would knock me out within ten seconds so it wouldn't matter. Pretty cool.
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) December 9, 2018