(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime) #14 IBF Edner Cherry (34-7-2, 19 KOs) found himself on the receiving end of a good old fashioned controversial decision last Saturday night at the hands of IBF super featherweight champion Jose Pedraza (21-0, 12 KOs) on the undercard of the Adrien Broner vs. Khabib Allakhverdiev card on Showtime Championship Boxing from the U.S Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Cherry, 33, out-boxed and out-slugged Pedraza in eight of the twelve rounds, but still found himself losing the contest by the scores of 116-112 for Cherry, 117-111 and 117-111 for Pedraza. You can call it just a bad decision or whatever you want, but it was pretty clear to me that Cherry was raked over the coals by the two judges that gave the win to Pedraza.
Cherry put total pressure on Pedraza for the entire fight, and nailed him with huge shots. Pedraza couldn’t stand in the pocket and trade with the more powerful Cherry, so he did the only thing he could do by staying on the outside and jabbing to the body frequently. Pedraza’s southpaw style didn’t bother Cherry at all in the fight. But for some reason, Pedraza changed stances frequently in the fight, as if he felt that would throw Cherry off.
It made no sense at all what Pedraza was doing because Cherry has fought mostly fighters that have fought out of the orthodox stance for most of his career. It just made no sense at all for Pedraza to change to a right handed stance. He should have just stayed with his southpaw stance and hoped that it would help him, even though it didn’t.
Cherry had a big advantage in punching power, and he landed the harder and cleaner landing shots during the entire fight. That’s why it was so difficult to give the win to Pedraza, because it came down to a contest of Cherry landing his harder shots to Pedraza’s jabs.
“I won the fight. It was a very tight fight and very hard fight, but I definitely won the fight,” said Pedraza. “I was very calm when they were reading the scores because I knew I won. I’m very happy. We did a great job and started strong, but Edner had his moments. With my team, we used our intelligence to get the victory. I was able to change my style, switch to southpaw and Cherry couldn’t handle the left hand.”
It’s not surprising that Pedraza was tooting his own horn after the fight, because you can’t expect him to say he lost. But I think the booing fans afterwards was a good sign that they felt that Cherry won the fight, not Pedraza.
“I just left it in the judges’ hands. If I knocked him out it wouldn’t be up to the judges. It’s them,” Cherry said. “That’s the judges. That’s what happens when you leave it to the judges. I’m not taking anything away from him. It was a good fight.”