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 as 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.
The winning round was closely contested, with two of the judges siding with Easter and and one giving Commey the nod, which factored into Easter ultimately winning a split decision.
It didn't take long for Easter and Commey to get going in Round 9: Just 10 seconds after the bell rang, the undefeated fighters 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 when they re-engaged, they did so using a more measured approach, working primarily with their jabs.
Then, at about the midpoint of the round, Commey quickly ramped the action back up, as the Ghana native let loose with his right hand coming behind the jab.
With a minute left 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 amid a flurry of punches.
After escaping the barrage, though, it was Commey’s turn to return fire, landing 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—a respite that allowed both the fighters and everyone watching a chance to catch their breath.
For a complete look back at Easter vs Commey, visit our fight page.
For all of our year-end honors, visit our video page.