The wait for a major world title since 2010 will continue after Richard Commey failed to win the IBF World lightweight title, losing to Robert Easter Jr.

Commey lost a 12-round split decision against Easter Jr to miss out on the Title in Reading, Pennsylvania.

In a battle of undefeated contenders, 25-year old Robert Easter (18-0, 14 KO), 134 ½, of Toledo, Ohio, survived a brief knockdown in the eighth to earn a grueling split decision over 29-year old Richard Commey (24-1, 22 KO), 135, of Accra, Ghana. The referee was Benjy Esteves Jr.

Well matched from the start, both men looked for an edge through a closely contested first four rounds. The heavy hands of Commey produced a booming effect when they landed but the longer, more diverse offense of Easter. In the fourth, Easter started to get into a groove and built what looked like a lead.

The power of Commey never let any lead feel safe. In an eighth round he was losing, an explosive Commey right hand scored a flash knockdown to suddenly draw the scores closer again. The fight was just getting ready to move into another gear.

The ninth round featured three of the best minutes of fighting this year, both men hurting each other as the momentum swung. Commey came on strong for the next two rounds, his heavy hands doing the best work while Easter relied mostly on the jab.

Heading into the final round, it was anyone’s fight. Easter found the shot he needed to make a loud case in his favor. Buckling Commey with a right hand that looked like a knockout blow, Easter came alive in search of a knockout.

Commey wisely tied up, desperately trying to survive and find his legs. In the final minute, Commey seemed to buzz Easter and it was Easter who tied up. Both men used clinches to stretch out the final seconds before opening up with a final, thrilling exchange to end an excellent fight.

The scores came in rich with drama. The first announced was 115-112 Easter, followed by 114-113 Commey. The final score came in at 114-113 and the arena joined Easter in boisterous, well-earned celebration.

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