The return of former lightweight champion Richard Commey was a big boost. A lightning-quick right hook nearly knocked Jackson Marinez out of his game as the Commie recorded a knockout victory in the sixth round on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Commey (30-3, 27 knockout) stalked Marinez (19-2, 7 knockout) in the first few rounds and used his strength to intimidate Marinez in the ring while trying to control Commey with superior boxing skills. But the 33-year-old communist was a man on a mission, fighting for his country in Ghana for the first time in 14 months.
The fight between Comey and Martinez was elevated to Top Rank’s main event after Joe Smith Jr. and Maxim Vlasov were postponed because Vlasov tested positive on KOVID-19 on Thursday. That’s why Saturday was all about the communist.
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It was Commey’s first fight since losing the IBF Lightweight title by TKO in the second round against Teofimo Lopez in December 2019. One of the most interesting aspects of Saturday night was the passionate and personal support Commey gave to Lopez. Before the fight, Lopez went to Commey’s locker room where they kissed and the champion cheered him on. During the fight, Lopez was in Commey’s corner, encouraging her and giving her advice.
The 30-year-old Marine from the Dominican Republic lost to Rolando Romero in August in a unanimous decision that was hotly contested and debated. After two consecutive defeats, it’s time for him to regroup.
For Commey, he is back in a very hot lightweight division that includes Lopez, Gervonta Tank Davis, Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney. He hopes this victory will help him put up another great fight.
Lopez defeats Sanchez by majority decision.
Adam Lopez (left) defeated Jason Sanchez by majority decision in a 10-round featherweight fight. Mikey Williams/Top Rated Inc. via Getty Images
Heavyweight Adam Lopez (15-2, 6 KOs) defeated Jason Sanchez (15-2, 8 KOs) by majority decision in a very close fight.
The scores were 95-95, 97-93 and 96-94, with the last two in Lopez’s favor.
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The 26-year-old Sanchez, a native of Albuquerque, took control of the fight early on and looked like an aggressor and the most effective attacker. But Lopez, 24, of Glendale, California, woke up in the second half of the fight. It was the story of two halves in this fight.
Sanchez thrived on the inside, while Lopez had more success boxing on the outside. Neither fighter seemed seriously injured at any point, and with two tight rounds to end the fight, it would be no surprise if the fight went the other way.
With two strong wins in a row against Sanchez and Luis Coria, Lopez is back in his quest to become a heavyweight. His only losses were against former WBO bantamweight champion Oscar Valdez and reigning WBO junior bantamweight champion Stephon Fulton.
Anderson extends knockout series
Jared Anderson is definitely celebrating after defeating Kingsley Ibe by knockout in the sixth round. Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc. via Getty Images
Up-and-coming prospect Jared Anderson (8-0, 8 KO) knocked out Kingsley Ibeh (5-2-1 KO) in the sixth round to continue his impressive run of knockout matches.
Anderson, 21, delivered a combination of three punches that ended with a short, explosive left hook that put an early end to Ibe’s evening. Anderson had some much needed rounds, only one of which was round four for Saturday. The native of Toledo, Ohio entered the fight with five KOs in the first round of his first seven fights, but he was eager to show that he was more than just a KO artist. He did.
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Anderson’s left kick was precise, his movement fluid and he showed impressive patience as he waited for his place against the unorthodox and tough Ibe, who often changed discipline and threw from unique angles.
Ibe, 27, remained unconscious for a few moments and was gently resuscitated a few minutes later. The Phoenix native gave Anderson a hard time. In the end, I couldn’t overcome that power.
Anderson, who was Tyson Fury’s training partner prior to his second fight against Deontay Wilder, continues to move up in the heavyweight category.
Anderson said after Saturday’s fight that he plans to keep fighting undefeated candidates and raise the level of talent of his opponents. So far, he’s done nothing but impress.
Puente defeats Vega in a fight of undefeatedfighters
Eric Puente (right) earned his fifth career victory with a win over Sergio Vega. Mikey Williams/Top Rated Inc. via Getty Images
Featherweight Eric Puente (5-0, 0 KO) scored a unanimous victory over Sergio Vega (2-1-1, 2 KO) of Sacramento, California, in a fight between two previously undefeated opponents.
Neither fighter threw punches that seriously injured the other, but Puente de San Diego was more active and effective and won the victory, which was judged 40-36 by the three judges.
Puente, 21, is trained by Robert Garcia.
Tucker finishes Rodriguez with a jab to the body
Jahi Tucker (right) defeated Eric Rodriguez by knockout with a brutal left to body hook in the second round. Mikey Williams / Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
In welterweight action, Yahi Tucker (3-0, 2 KO) hit Erik Rodriguez (1-2, 1 KO) in the liver with a left hook in the middle of the second round.
Tucker, 18, of Deer Park, N.Y., turned pro in September and is showing the ability to be pro with his first three wins in less than three months. Tucker threw an impressive punch early in the fight, but it was ultimately his power that brought Rodriguez from Bradenton, Florida to his knees and ended the fight early.
Isley shines in winning decision
Troy Isley, right middleweight, won unanimously over Bryant Costello. Mikey Williams/Top Rated Inc. via Getty Images
Middleweight Troy Isley made his pro debut with a unanimous victory over Bryant Costello (40-36, 40-36, 40-36). He showed confidence and withstood the biggest Costello throughout the fight.
Easley (1-0, 0 KOs), 22, of Alexandria, Virginia, who is coached by Kei Koroma, was able to put his powerful right hand down several times and showed some effective punches to the body and upper body to add to his repertoire.
Costello (1-2-1 NC, 0 KO), 34, of Monticello, NY, was unable to use his size and advantage to find the necessary distance and was unable to dish out significant blows during the four-round fight.
Koroma also works with Terence Crawford and Shakur Stevenson.
Diaz makes successful debut
Bantam heavyweight Floyd Diaz (left) made his pro debut with a unanimous victory over Fernando Macias. Mikey Williams/Top Rated Inc. via Getty Images
Heavyweight Floyd Diaz made his professional debut with a unanimous decision victory over Fernando Macias in the first bout of the Top Rank Boxing card on Saturday. He showed good combinations and made his left and right angles at will.
Diaz (1-0, 0 KO), 17, the 2019 U.S. Olympic junior champion from Las Vegas, struggled in the second round with a short left hook that sent him stumbling on the ropes.
Macias (1-2, 0 KO), 21, of Hanford, California, rebounded in the third round and managed to push Diaz off with a left hook that landed right on Diaz’s chin. But this was not enough to tip the fight, and at the end of the four rounds, the three judges were in Diaz’s favor 40-36.