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Jose Pedraza and Richard Commey to meet in crossroads bout on July 23

Jose Pedraza (right) lands a straight right on Stephen Smith - Photo by Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
13
May

News reached The Ring that former lightweight titleholders Richard Commey and Jose Pedraza will meet in a crossroads fight at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota on a Top Rank show on ESPN on July 23.

The fight will take place at junior welterweight. Pedraza (29-4, 14 knockouts) will be having his sixth fight at the weight, while Commey (30-4, 27 KOs) will be making his 140-pound debut.

Commey turned professional in 2011. The Ghanaian won his first 24 fights before suffering controversial loses to Robert Easter Jr. (SD 12) when they met for the vacant IBF lightweight title and against Denis Shafikov (SD 12) in Russia in 2016.

He rebounded with three wins to set up a second world title shot, this time he stopped Isa Chaniev (TKO 2) for the vacant IBF 135-pound title. Commey stopped Ray Beltran (KO 8) before surrendering his title to Teofimo Lopez (TKO 2).



The 35-year-old got back in the win column against Jackson Marinez before being roundly beaten by Vasiliy Lomachenko (UD 12) last December.

Pedraza was a decorated amateur, representing Puerto Rico at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He later claimed silver at the 2009 World Championships. He went unbeaten through 19 fights before winning the vacant IBF junior lightweight title against Andrey Klimov (UD 12) in June 2015.

Two defenses followed before he was stopped by rising star Gervonta Davis (TKO 7) in January 2017. The defeat prompted him to move up to lightweight, where he quickly won the WBO title against Beltran (UD 12).

Pedraza looked to unify against WBA counterpart Lomachenko but dropped a lopsided decision.

Again, Pedraza moved up in weight. Since settling at 140-pounds, the now 33-year-old has gone 3-2 against good opposition, dropping competitive decisions to Jose Zepeda (UD 10) and Jose Ramirez (UD 12).

With both men in their 30s and coming off defeats, it’s a must win fight for both of them if they want to continue operating at the highest level.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on [email protected]

 

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