Top Rank announced on Tuesday that in addition to Verdejo returning from a month layoff caused mainly by injuries, Pedraza will make his debut with the company when they appear in separate bouts on March 17 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. March 17 will be the first step in that direction. Pedraza, who is moving up to lightweight, will be back in action for the first time in 13 months since losing his world title by seventh-round knockout to Gervonta Davis in January Pedraza become a free agent, and he signed with Top Rank last week. They want to take my career to the next level, and part of that is fighting in venues like Madison Square Garden," Pedraza said.
Here is a look at the undercard on tap: Shakur Stevenson vs. Christopher Diaz, 10 rounds, featherweights Teofimo Lopez vs. Edis Tatli, 10 rounds, lightweights Felix Verdejo vs. Bryan Vasquez, 10 rounds, lightweights Carlos Adames vs. Frank Galarza, 10 rounds, junior middleweights There are a number of intriguing bouts on the undercard.
He has a significant test ahead of him with veteran Bryan Vasquez. Teofimo Lopez is hunting WBA and WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, but until he has a title around his waist, the champ isn't even mentioning his name when he talks about prospective opponents. Lopez will look to take out his frustrations on Edis Tatli on Saturday.
Lopez is only 21 years old, but he's already become one of the most popular smaller-weight fighters in the world.
He could be moving toward a bout against IBF champion Richard Commey—if Lomachenko isn't given the opportunity to unify first. Shakur Stevenson is another promising year-old.
He'll be taking on Christopher Diaz, but he'll be battling some distractions of his own creation. A video surfaced of a street brawl he participated in from and it appears to be incriminating.
He was originally charged with misdemeanor battery, but per journalist Andy Slater, the district attorney wants to upgrade the charges to felonies. Stevenson is set to go to trial on the charges on June Can he focus on the job at hand with a potential punishment on the horizon?
Ideally, this wouldn't be a part of the pre-fight story, but at this point, there is no ignoring the elephant in the room.