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Robert Easter, Jr. vs. Richard Commey Pick

Robert Easter, Jr. vs. Richard Commey Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Friday, September 9, 2016
Where: Santander Arena, Reading, Pennsylvania
TV: Spike TV
Weight Class: Lightweights: 12 Rounds
Titles: Vacant IBF Lightweight Title
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Robert Easter, Jr., 17-0 (14 KOs), Toledo, Ohio
Vs.
Richard Commey, 24-0 (22 KOs), Accra, Ghana

Betting Odds: Robert Easter, Jr. -110, Richard Commey -130

Robert Easter, Jr. and Richard Commey will duke it out for the vacant IBF Lightweight Title on Friday, September 9 in Reading Pennsylvania. Undoubtedly, these are two of the finest up-and-coming 135-pounders in the game, both undefeated and having flashed unmistakable world-class talents en route to this title shot. Who comes out ahead in this high-stakes battle of young unbeaten lightweights?

Easter, Jr. stands a menacing 5'11" with a long reach of 76 inches. He's no wilting lily, however, as his KO record will attest. He can keep it at long-range, while also not being afraid to mix it up inside. At 25, he has shown that he has all the prerequisites for a long and successful career. The one outstanding issue will be tested in this fight and that's his chin. Commey is quite the puncher and Easter, Jr. has never been tested to this extent. A lot of times, we see a rising fighter look like the goods, only to find out his punch-resistance lags behind other facets of his game. At the same time, despite Easter, Jr's wispy frame, he appears to have an air of sturdiness about him. We'll know for sure after this fight.

Commey comes from Accra, Ghana, which has produced some good fighters over the years, including Hall of Famer Azumah Nelson. He is 4 years older than Easter. Jr. at 29, having turned pro in 2011. He fought in his homeland for a while, before coming to the UK to ply his trade and upgrade the level of his opposition. He has fought throughout Europe and made his first stateside appearance a few fights ago with a brutal stoppage over Bahodir Mamadjonov in Las Vegas in 2015.

Easter, Jr. will have size as a big advantage over nearly everyone he fights at 135. At the same time, Commey doesn't match up all that badly from a stature standpoint, standing 5'9." Despite being a pretty long lightweight in his own right, Commey will still be operating with a deficit of a few inches in height and a staggering 7 inches in reach. In addition to size, Commey will also need to find a way to cope with the vast skills of Easter, Jr.

There are a few perceptions that people will have heading into this bout. I'm not sure how accurate they are, though they are well-placed thoughts to be sure. You have a fighter in Easter, Jr. who had a nice amateur background and is one of those super-slick and skilled Ohio fighters who appears to have a lot on the ball. That usually translates well against guys with a big KO record like Commey. For every Azumah Nelson are countless other Ghanaians with flashy records that ended up not being able to hang from a skills standpoint. When you're bowling over one opponent after the next, you're not really learning anything.

Before we tag Commey as another under-schooled African who has feasted on bums, we need to take a deeper look. And that will reveal that he is actually more-tested than what many would assume when they see a Ghanaian with a flashy KO record. A lot of them fall flat when faced with fighters who have more elaborate skills. A lot of them are wooden and ill-equipped for a real fight, having knocked most of their opponents out in quick order. I don't think Commey fits that bill.

While Commey hasn't faced the package of size and skills that Easter represents, he isn't coming off a diet of total stiffs, either. Early in his pro career, he began fighting in Europe, facing decent domestic opposition—nothing great, but a lot better than if he had just remained in his homeland. His best win was probably his 8th-round KO win over Mamadjonov. On one hand, his trajectory as an up-and-comer is nothing unique, but at the same time, Easter, Jr. represents a quantum leap from the competition Commey has been facing. Nevertheless, he's not altogether unprepared for the jump. He's 29 and has looked good in most fights. His power is the real deal. He can be outworked, however, and isn't the fastest guy in the world—things that could cost him in this particular matchup.

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Commey has shown he can punch and can fight through some adversity. We've seen a lot of lanky fighters like Easter get clipped on the chin well and not respond with flying colors. And that just happens to be Commey's bread-and-butter. But from a sequence-to-sequence and round-to-round basis, the skills of Easter, Jr. will be hard to deny. He has more routes to victory, as his more nuanced skills will resonate well against a guy like Commey. The Ghanaian slugger is assuredly a threat, but the overall game of Easter, Jr. appears to be more bankable at this point.

Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm betting on Robert Easter, Jr. at -110.

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