A cut around Richard Commey’s left eye rejuvenated Jose Pedraza on Saturday night.
An opportunistic Pedraza rallied after Commey suffered that cut in the sixth round and took control of their 10-round, 140-pound bout. The former two-division champion seemingly out-worked Commey, who faded in the later rounds, but it wasn’t enough to win a main event at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Puerto Rico’s Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KOs), who entered the ring as almost a 3-1 favourite, and Ghana’s Commey (30-4-1, 27 KOs) fought to a split draw.
Judge Henry Gueary scored seven rounds for Pedraza, who won 97-93 on his card. Judge David Sutherland scored six rounds for Commey, a 96-94 winner on his card.
Judge Gary Ritter scored the action even, 95-95, which rendered it a split draw.
CompuBox’s unofficial punch stats indicated that their fight was as close as two of the judges had it. CompuBox counted just 16 more connections for Pedraza overall (165-of-496 to 149-of-684).
Pedraza landed more power punches (134-of-291 to 130-of-377) and more jabs (31-of-205 to 19-of-307), according to CompuBox.
“I landed a great body shot,” Pedraza said in reference to a punch that connected in the ninth round. “I felt that I hurt him, and that gave me the inspiration to keep going after him. I actually believe [the ninth and 10th rounds] were the rounds that gave me the victory tonight, despite what the scorecards say.”
Commey said, “It is a draw. Obviously, I have to go back home and see my people. I love my people, and I gotta go back there, do what I gotta do.”
Both boxers had hoped to bounce back from unanimous-decision defeats to top opponents in this battle between former lightweight champions.