The name Richard Commey never became as familiar as it should have done for UK fans.
The Ghanaian Lightweight based himself for a few years in the UK, setting about recording 17 straight stoppage wins before showing his stamina in a 12 round domination of Gary Buckland.
Despite wins over Buckland and Paul Truscott (TKO 8), his billing on Goodwin Promotion cards at York Hall never ignited his career.
Since moving to Sauerland Promotions, Commey 24-0 (22KO’s) has put himself on the brink of world championship glory.
But standing in his way is another hard hitting, unbeaten prospect looking to stamp his mark on the Lightweight division.
In strikingly similar circumstances, Commey will have the chance to do what Africa’s greatest fighter could never do, and claim the IBF Lightweight crown against an American favourite.
Nelson was outscored in May 1990 when he challenged the WBC and IBF ruler, Pernell ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker. Commey will be hoping that his fate against the American Robert Easter Jr 17-0 (14KO’s) will be different.
But it is the 5’11” Easter Jr who stands as the firm favourite in this fascinating clash taking place on Friday (September 9th) in Pennsylvania.
The Spike televised show isn’t likely to grab any headlines, but for any pugilist observer, this is a fight to keep a very keen eye on.
Easter Jr burst onto the scene in April when he blitzed a fading, but still capable, Argenis Mendez in 5 rounds. Mendez was certainly making the fight competitive – his efforts far eclipsed the work he failed to put in against Luke Campbell just over a month ago.
But a powerful right hand down on the side of Mendez’s head was enough to end the contest in brutal fashion.
At 29, Commey is 4 years Robert’s senior, but both fighters are extremely fresh, and neither have come close to experiencing the pressures that lie at this level of competition.
Easter Jr’s ridiculous reach advantage, will prove the hardest obstacle for Commey to overcome. The leverage and speed behind Easter Jr’s punches bring out the power, and Commey will need every bit of that sturdy chin of his to take those incoming missiles.
Commey will be required to set a high tempo from the very start of the contest. If Easter Jr is allowed to build a lead in the early goings, then he could settle into a rhythm that will prove too difficult to shake.
Easter Jr enjoys teasing opponents on the front foot, where he is then able to control the range. Commey must use hard faints to force Easter Jr to back up, and then he must pounce quickly, taking his opportunity to back his gangly opponent onto the ropes.
But just the mental strain of trying so hard to position Easter Jr into spots where Commey can capitalise will take their toll.
Easter Jr’s sharpness and accuracy will see him comfortable for much of the fight, while he will have to see off the occasional nervy moment as Commey looks to dig to the body before swinging clubbing punches to the head.
Easing into a pattern in the second half of the fight, Easter Jr will settle with a points victory by wide margins that may not reflect the uglier, but equally effective, work that Commey puts in.
On the same show, Daniel Jacobs 31-1 (28KO’s) should make easy work of his rematch with Sergio Mora 28-4-2 (9KO’s).
Both fighters were dropped heavily in their first contest, Mora hitting the canvas first before Jacobs was caught when looking for a first round stoppage.
Then as Mora went down the second time he went over horribly on his ankle, causing the contest to be halted there and then. Jacobs had to be awarded with the knockout victory – it was a punch that sent Mora over on his ankle.
There will be less fireworks this time around, but Jacobs won’t be hanging about too long, Mora can tough it out, but will be halted inside 5 rounds.
The contest is for Jacobs’ WBA ‘world’ Middleweight title, as he continues his commendable return after surviving cancer in 2011.
You can check out his 1st round impressive stoppage over American Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillin last time out here.
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