Entering the late stages of a competitive, action-packed fight with a vacant 135-pound world title at stake, Robert Easter Jr. and Richard Commey upped the ante in a thrilling three minutes that brought out the best in both men.
After Commey gained a questionable knockdown of Easter in the eighth round of their September 9 bout at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania, there was complete uncertainty to which fighter had the edge on the judges’ scorecards.
With a date with greatness up for grabs, Robert Easter Jr. and Richard Commey wasted no time going back at it in Round 9, which the staff of Premier Boxing Champions has selected as PBC’s Round of the Year for 2016.
Easter-Commey beat out three other worthy candidates: Round 9 of Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter, Round 2 of Leo Santa Cruz vs Carl Frampton and Round 4 of Adonis Stevenson vs Thomas Williams Jr. It was a closely contested round, with two of the judges siding with Easter and and one giving Commey the nod, which factored into Easter winning a split decision.
Just 10 seconds into Round 9, Easter and Commey moved into close quarters, exchanging heavy blows with both hands for nearly 30 seconds with little pause.
The fighters backed off nearly a minute in as they regrouped from the heated exchange and resumed a more measured approach working primarily with their jabs.
Commey, however, quickly ramped the action back up about 90 seconds into the round as the Ghana native began to let loose with his right hand coming behind the jab.
With a minute left in the round and a partisan crowd filled with family and friends from his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, rooting him on, Easter appeared to gain the upper hand as he pinned Commey against the ropes and landed a couple of solid rights during a flurry of punches.
After escaping the barrage, though, it was Commey’s turn to return fire as he landed a couple of rights before Easter responded with a head-turning left hook.
In the final 25 seconds, both fighters again exchanged rapid-fire blows before backing off just before the bell so that not only they could catch their breath, but that everyone watching could as well.