Photos: Pedraza & Commey Draw, Torrez Jr. and Anderson notch wins in undercard action

By Top Rank - 08/28/2022 - Comments

Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson improved to 12-0 with 12 knockouts, knocking out Serbian veteran Miljan Rovcanin (24-3, 16 KOs) with a chopping right hand at the end of the second round. Anderson, from Toledo, Ohio, returned to the ring for the first time in nearly nine months and made up for lost time. He hurt Rovcanin to the body and then focused on the head. Anderson now has nine knockouts in two rounds or less.

“I was very calm. I was very patient. Actually {trainer Darrie Riley} was more nervous than I was as usual, though. I felt very relaxed, pretty much the most relaxed I’ve ever been,” Anderson said. “I heard my coach tell me to switch {to southpaw}. I listened to him as always, so that was really the reason I switched.”

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Torrez Jr. Stops Canedo in 1

U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. (3-0, 3 KOs) obliterated Marco Antonio Canedo (4-3, 2 KOs) in just 44 seconds, the second first-round knockout for Torrez in as many months. Torrez, a southpaw from Tulare, California, knocked down Canedo with a straight left hand 20 seconds into the round. He followed up with a crisp combination that culminated with a right hook that collapsed Canedo face first.

Torrez turned pro in March following last summer’s Olympic run in Tokyo and has thus far been as advertised in the paid ranks.

“I am happy with the result, but my thoughts right now are with Canedo,” Torrez said. “He’s a tough man, and I have the utmost respect for him. It happens to the best of us.”

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Junior Welterweight: Tiger Johnson (5-0, 4 KOs) TKO 5  Harry Gigliotti (8-4, 3 KOs), 2:17. Gigliotti had never been stopped as a pro until he ran into Johnson. For nearly five rounds, Johnson battered and bloodied the Massachusetts native until referee Mark Nelson waved off the fight following a series of left hooks. Johnson landed 55 percent of his power blows and outlanded Gigliotti, 136-21.

Heavyweight: Efe Ajagba (16-1, 13 KOs) TKO 2 Jozsef Darmos (14-5-3, 10 KOs), 1:15. The comeback is on for Ajagba, who stopped the overmatched Darmos with a pair of knockdowns in the second round. Referee Gary Ritter stopped the fight immediately following the second knockdown, which was courtesy of a right hand to the side of the head. Ajagba had not fought since last October’s decision loss to Frank Sanchez. Following the Sanchez fight, Ajagba had surgery on both elbows and returned to vintage form with a clean bill of health.

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Main Event: Two former world champions came to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa in desperate need of a victory. Neither man accomplished that mission. Puerto Rican standout Jose “Sniper” Pedraza and Ghana’s Richard Commey battled to a highly disputed 10-round draw in the junior welterweight main event Saturday evening.

The scores — 97-93 Pedraza, 96-94 Commey and 95-95 — reflected the bout’s back-and-forth nature. Commey (30-4-1, 27 KOs), who once held the IBF lightweight world title, won two of the first three rounds on all three judges’ cards. Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KOs) swept the final two rounds to salvage the draw and keep alive his goal of winning a world title in a third weight class.

The fight turned when a clash of heads opened up a cut over Commey’s left eye in the sixth round. Pedraza, fighting out of a southpaw stance, started backing up the noted power puncher and ripping shots at close range. The punch stats were razor thin, as Pedraza outlanded Commey, 165-149.

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Even though my eye was inflamed, we understood that it was done because he has a good right hand. The entire night, the whole point was to neutralize that right hand. Despite the fact that it was inflamed, I was able to do that,” Pedraza said. “I’ve never turned down a fight, and I’m not going to start now. Whatever Top Rank wants for me. If they demand a rematch, I’m ready to give Richard Commey a rematch because he deserves it and I have the utmost respect for him. Ultimately, my goal is to win a world title once again. Whatever I have to do, that’s what I’m willing to do.”

Commey said, “It is a draw. Obviously, I have to go back home and see my people. I love my people, and I gotta go back there, do what I gotta do.”

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Heavyweight: Jeremiah Milton (6-0, 5 KOs) KO 2 Nick Jones (9-5, 6 KOs), 2:49. Tulsa native Milton brought the thunder to the hometown crowd, icing Jones with a right uppercut to the temple late in the second round.

Junior Welterweight: Kelvin Davis (6-0, 4 KOs) UD 6 Sebastian Gabriel Chaves (5-5, 2 KOs), Scores: 60-52 3x. Davis picked up the biggest win of his young career, as the 25-year-old southpaw from Norfolk, Virginia, knocked down Chaves twice en route to a wide points victory. Chaves, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, has now lost four in a row.

Lightweight: Frevian Gonzalez (6-1, 1 KO) UD 6 Gerardo Esquivel (3-3-1, 1 KO), Scores: 58-55 and 59-54 2x. Gonzalez, a stablemate of Pedraza, picked up his second consecutive win with a convincing six-round verdict over the rugged Esquivel. Gonzalez was in control for five rounds until things nearly came apart in the sixth. After getting stunned early in the round— and then having a point deducted for holding — Gonzalez returned fire with a series of looping right hands that forced Esquivel to retreat.

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Lightweight: Abdullah Mason (4-0, 3 KOs) UD 4 Angel Rebollar (5-1, 3 KOs), Scores: 39-36 and 40-35 2x. Mason knocked Rebollar down with a right hook less than 20 seconds into the opening round, but Rebollar did not relent. The 18-year-old prospects went toe-to-toe, as Cleveland’s Mason went the distance for the first time in his career. Rebollar did find a home for his right against the southpaw phenom.

Light Heavyweight: Dante Benjamin Jr. (4-0, 2 KOs) UD 4 Leandro Silva (3-7, 2 KOs), Scores: 40-36 3x. Benjamin had his hands full against Silva, a rough-and-tumble fighter who is also a veteran of nearly 40 MMA bouts. Silva held and grappled on the inside, making Benjamin uncomfortable at times. Benjamin found his groove late in the fourth round, posing with his hands behind his back and ripping combinations to Silva’s head.

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Last Updated on 08/28/2022