By: Sean Crose
Former two time titlist Jose Pedraza, 29-4, fought for relevancy Saturday night when he faced fellow former world titlist Richard Commey, 30-4, in a scheduled 10 round junior welterweight affair at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The bout, which headlined an ESPN card, represented a must win for each fighter, as both had tasted defeat in their most recent matches.
The fighters came out aggressively in the first, neither apparently interested in engaging in a feeling out process. Commey put his punches together well in the second, fighting with more fluidity than his foe. Just past the first minute mark of the round, Pedraza appeared to be rattled. Commey continued to do good work in the third, but there was no doubt that Pedraza was still in the fight. Yet it was obvious in the fourth that Commey was the more active of the two fighters.
Pedraza threw and landed on occasion in the fifth, but there was no real snap to his punches. With that being said, Pedraza became more more energized in the sixth, throwing and moving more aggressively. Commey, however, made it a point to return fire. The seventh was a close, high octane affair. Things slowed down a bit in the eighth, but remained competitive. Commey employed his jab sharply in the ninth, while Pedraza did nice work putting his punches together. In fact, it appeared later in the round that Commey might have been hurt.
Commey went for broke in the tenth while Pedraza landed some impressive shots of his own. It had been an exiting, hard fought battle. The combined scores of the judges ultimately ruled the fight a split draw. Earlier in the televised card there were some frightening knockouts. Heavyweight Jared Anderson flattened Miljan Rovcanin in the second round while heavyweight Richard Torrez literally put Marco Antonio Canedo down on his face mere seconds after the opening bell. It took several frightening minutes before Canedo was able to be helped back onto his stool.
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