BOXING

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Sat: Jose Pedraza v Richard Commey

Two former world champions are looking to get back on track this weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Jose Pedraza has held world titles at both super featherweight and lightweight while Richard Commey was champion at lightweight in 2019. Both men have suffered crushing defeats in recent fights and this is a contest that neither can afford to lose.

Despite the recent defeats, both Pedraza and Commey have confidently stated that they still believe they can reclaim world title glory at 140lbs. Commey, especially, has exceptional punching power and that makes him a very exciting addition to an already thriving division.

The Ghanian, who has a record of 30-4 (27KO), won the IBF lightweight title in February 2019 and successfully defended it once before losing the strap in devastating fashion to Teofimo Lopez. His only other defeat in recent years was to future hall of famer Vasyl Lomachenko in 2021 and there is no shame in losing to fighters at that level.

Commey is vulnerable to elite level fighters but he has outstanding power and in theory, he could be an even bigger puncher now that he is not boiling down to the 135lb lightweight limit. At 35, it is now or never for the former lightweight champion but he will be confident that his power will be the deciding factor against a fighter like Pedraza who may not be the force of old.

Jose Pedraza has been a professional since 2011 and the Puerto Rican has seen everything the sport of boxing has had to offer. He won his first world title seven years ago down at 130lbs before losing it to Gervonta Davis. He then jumped up a weight to claim yet another world strap against Raymundo Beltran at 135lb, before surrendering that title in his first defence to Vasyl Lomachenko.

In recent years, the former champion has operated at 140lbs and suffered two more defeats against Jose Ramirez and Jose Zepeda but he has always given a respectable account of himself and remains a relevant force in the sport.

The question around Pedraza is whether his slick boxing skills are starting to decline. He has never had a huge amount of power and has relied on his boxing brain but if those skills are starting to slip, he could be vulnerable in Oklahoma this weekend.

In a classic boxer vs puncher matchup, the odds favour Jose Pedraza (2/5) with Richard Commey the underdog at (2/1). The gameplans are obvious in this fight, Pedraza will look to rely on his boxing ability to stay out of the way of Richard Commey and the Ghanian will be looking to get up close and land his power shots.

Commey very interesting underdog here because he looks like the move to 140lb will suit him. He was always a sizeable lightweight and therefore, this move up 5lbs always looked natural. Jose Pedraza has fought as low as 130lb and although he has naturally grown throughout his career, he hasn’t looked a complete natural at 140lbs in the last couple of years.

The fight is set for 10 rounds rather than 12 which will certainly help Jose Pedraza but at (2/1) Richard Commey is too big of a price to ignore. He can be outboxed and reckless at times, but it’s hard to count him out when he has such a power advantage. If Pedraza has slowed down, even slightly, the gaps will be there and Commey has proven in the past that he can take an opportunity when it presents itself.

At (2/1) Richard Commey to win is the main play this weekend.

JORDAN NEILD

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BACK Richard Commey to win 1pt at 2/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


PROFIT/LOSS (AUGUST 2022): LOSS -3.77 points
(Excluding ante-post recommendations CLICK HERE)


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