What’s better than a fight between two undefeated boxers vying for their first world championship? A fight that goes to the 12th and final round with said world championship still up for grabs.
For 11 rounds of their 135-pound title clash on September 9 in Reading, Pennsylvania, Robert Easter Jr. and Richard Commey fought with a level of toughness, tenacity and passion befitting two young fighters who so badly wanted to claim their first world title.
Then came the thrilling 12th round, when Easter and Commey—both realizing the result was still in doubt—shifted into another gear, one that neither fighter likely knew existed.
The biggest punch of the round was thrown mere seconds after the bell rang: Easter's short right cross to the jaw that buckled both of Commey’s knees. Somehow, Commey held his ground, even as Easter subsequently unleashed a flurry of shots that probably would’ve floored any other opponent he’s ever faced.
Knowing he was in trouble, Commey spent the next minute trying to stay on his feet by tying up Easter. But in between frequent clenches, both fighters went headhunting, hoping to land the knockout shot.
With the clock ticking down and both men determined to do whatever was necessary to protect their perfect record and leave the ring a champion, Easter and Commey let their hands go, the nonstop action eliciting a roar from the crowd.
In the end, Easter swept the 12th round on all three cards, which proved to be the difference as the Toledo, Ohio, native earned a split decision. But even though Commey returned home to his native Ghana without a title, he did gain one thing: the admiration of everyone who watched the fight.