Jose Pedraza vs. Richard Commey Boxing Odds, Pick & Prediction: Which Vet Will Stay in Lifeboat? (Saturday, Aug. 24)
Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images. Pictured: Boxer Jose Pedraza
Jose Pedraza vs. Richard Commey Odds
Generally speaking in combat sports, there are two things you can do with aging former champions like Jose Pedraza (29-4-0, 14 KOs) and Richard Commey (30-4-0, 27 KOs), which is to say, fighters who’ve taken some bad beatings but still want to compete and get paid.
The first option is to take that fighter and feed him to a hot young up-and-comer, in the hopes that what’s left of his name will be valuable for the shine it can lend to someone else’s.
The second option is to match him up against another aging former champion who’s in almost the exact same boat. This creates interest by sending the message that there’s room in the lifeboat for one drowning sailor – but it’s up to the two guys bobbing in the water to decide who it’s going to be.
Saturday’s bout between Pedraza and Commey is that second type of fight. Both these guys were champions at lighter weights – Pedraza had belts at 130 and 135 pounds; Commey was the IBF champ at 135 pounds – but have since suffered major defeats and are trying for a reset at 140 pounds.
When they meet at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa in Oklahoma on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET main card, ESPN), it will be to determine who has more of a future in front of him in that interesting division.
Pedraza’s Path to Victory over Power Puncher Commey
If it were only a question of technical boxing, this would be Pedraza’s fight every time, as the -275 line on him (73.3% win probability) suggests. He’s got the better skillset, better defense, and he fights and moves well on the outside.
The two variables that have to be factored in, however, are Commey’s superior punching power and the more ephemeral question of what each man has left in him after putting some hard miles on the odometer recently.
There, too, the edge should go to Pedraza. He’s coming off a unanimous decision loss to Jose Ramirez in March, but before that, he won three straight while bouncing back from a 2019 loss to Jose Zepeda. His only other losses, first to Gervonta Davis and then to Vasiliy Lomachenko, have both aged pretty darn well.
Commey also has a loss to Lomachencko, and on paper it looks more or less the same: defeat by unanimous decision. But that was a thorough, one-sided beatdown in which Lomachenko dropped Commey twice in the seventh round while imploring Commey’s corner to stop the fight and save their fighter.
This will be Commey’s first fight since that shellacking, and he’s got only one win separating that defeat from his previous second-round knockout loss against Teofimo Lopez.
Still, while he seems to have taken more damage and while he might already be looking more shopworn, Commey is the harder puncher here.
If he can get in close and do some work there, his power might negate Pedraza’s superior overall skills.
But, just like the rest of us, Pedraza knows that’s Commey’s best hope. That’s why he’ll probably look to stay on the outside and chip away, reasoning that it’s safer to take rounds one at a time than try for a finish and expose himself in the process.
Pedraza vs. Commey Pick
This is probably a closer matchup than the line suggests, but Pedraza should win this fight if he comes in with a sound game plan and sticks to it all the way through.
The +210 underdog bet on Commey might be worth a closer look if we didn’t just see him buried under a mountain of punishment against Lomachenko, looking for all the world like a fighter who’s on the downslope of his career at 35.
Granted, he isn’t as quick as Lomachenko, but if Pedraza can manage the range and stay consistent, he should win this fight even if he needs the scorecards to do it.
That’s why, if you’re looking for better value at only slightly more risk, I like the -180 line on Pedraza via decision or technical decision that DraftKings is offering. Chances are, this one is probably going the distance. Pedraza knows he’s not the banger that Commey is, so I expect him to focus on outboxing Commey and trusting the judges to reward his efforts.
The Bet: Jose Pedraza by Decision or Technical Decision (-180)