BACK TO K-9 KIM’S CORNER

By Steve Kim Updated on August 29, 2022

Fit to be Tied in Tulsa

What was thought coming in to be a crossroads junior welterweight contest in Tulsa on Saturday night between Jose Pedraza and Richard Commey had no conclusive result. After 10 well contested rounds, we had a split draw.

Henry Gueary had Pedraza up 97-93, while David Sutherland had it 96-94 for Commey, with Gary Ritter having it deadlocked at 95 apiece.

So in what was a 'loser leaves town' match-up for Top Rank, nobody has to go anywhere -- for now. 

Jose Pedraza & Richard Commey Throw Over 1100 Punches | Exciting Fight Ends in Draw | HIGHLIGHTS

This was a solid bout, one that had ebbs-and-flows, and steady action, where both Pedraza and Commey -- who have world titles on their resume' -- showed that they are still viable entities at 140. Commey started this bout off with his trademark aggression, while Pedraza rallied in the later rounds with his boxing and sharp counter-punching.

An argument could be made for both men, but nobody is arguing the draw.

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

“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,'' said Commey, whose record now stands at 30-4-1 (27 KOs).

There was talk coming into this bout that a victory from Pedraza could catapult him into a December bout versus Teofimo Lopez. Lopez is slated to headline at the Garden in New York as part of Top Rank/ESPN's 'Heisman' night. Pedraza made a lot of sense given his pedigree, but also that he's Puerto Rican (yeah, that really does matter in this instance).

For some reason, Lopez feels as though a fight with him and Arnold Barboza (a world-rated 140 pounder) is beneath him. Not sure where this leaves Pedraza, who lost a decision to Jose Ramirez earlier this year. But that isn't to say that he doesn't have some gas left in the tank. Pedraza fought well in the later rounds and stunned the durable Ghanian more than once. 

“I landed a great body shot. I felt that I hurt him, and that gave me the inspiration to keep going after him," stated Pedraza. "I actually believe those were the rounds that gave me the victory tonight, despite what the scorecards say.”

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

In what is a stacked 140 pounds, Commery and Pedraza figure to at least get another call for a significant bout. Fortunately for them, Top Rank is heavily invested in the division with guys like Josh Taylor, Jose Zepeda, Ramirez and Lopez under their banner. Fights are there to be had.

Or maybe, they run it back?

“I’ve never turned down a fight, and I’m not going to start now," said Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KOs). "Whatever Top Rank wants for me. If they demand a rematch, I’m ready to give Richard Commey a rematch because he deserves and I have the utmost respect for him. Ultimately, my goal is to win a world title once again. Whatever I have to do, that’s what I’m willing to do.

 

BIG BABY

I'll say something bold: Jared 'Big Baby' Anderson is the best pure American heavyweight prospect since Riddick 'Big Daddy' Bowe.

Yeah, at just 12 fights and 22 years of age, he looks the part. 

He showed it again by getting rid of Miljan Rovcanin in two rounds.

WHAT A BEATDOWN! | Jared Anderson Buzzard Beating Knockout of Rovcanin | FIGHT HIGHLIGHTS

Lets make this clear, I am not saying that he is anywhere near ready for a title shot, or anything of that sort. In fact, this fight was his first outing of 2022, so he has to make up for some lost time and start getting some quality rounds under his belt. It will be interesting to see which heavyweight trial horse the brass at Top Rank can get moving forward. Who is that modern day Marion Wilson?

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

But what I'm saying is that at 6'4, 240-plus pounds he has the physical attributes needed, he has the amateur pedigree, and unlike many other American big men, he is a natural boxer, one that chose this sport at a young age. There have been a lot of heavyweights that ended up choosing boxing after their other athletic endeavors came to a conclusion. Anderson was first and foremost a boxer.

This isn't Seth Mitchell.

I know some of you will mention Deontay Wilder, and he's certainly had a productive career. But my guess is that he wont need 33 fights to get to a title shot, especially if it's a guy like Bermane Stiverne, and not a Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk (who have both hinted that they are nearing the conclusion of their storied careers) standing in his way. 

It's clear that Anderson is going places. And if he had his way, he'd be going there rapidly. 

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

“Realistically, we don’t know how far we are from a {Filip Hrgovic} fight. I would love that fight." Anderson said. "Filip Hrgovic or anybody in the top 10 of the IBF or WBO, WBC. We’re just looking to get some bigger names. Everybody keeps asking for bigger fights. We would love to have those bigger fights.”

 

FINAL FLURRIES

Blue-chip prospect, Abdullah Mason got a tough four rounds from the rugged Angel Rebollar. The scores may not have reflected it (40-35 twice and 39-36) but this was a hard fight for Mason....Tiger Johnson continues to impress, he scored a fifth-round stoppage of Henry Gigliotti....Richard Torrez Jr scored a scary KO of Marco Canedo on the opening bout on ESPN....Did the Scott Frost era at Nebraska come to an end in Ireland?....I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com...

 

 

 

 

About Author
Fit to be Tied in Tulsa
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for UCNlive.com.
  • Was a boxing reporter for ESPN.com from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.