Fighter of the Week: Richard Commey
By Gary Kittilsen
On a weekend that was absolutely loaded with world championship fights, one man’s performance stood out above all others.
Friday night in Temecula, California, IBF lightweight Champion Richard Commey went to war with former world champion Raymond Beltran and walked out with his world title and an upcoming mega-bout and payday against all-world blue-chip prospect Teofimo Lopez on the immediate horizon.
Commey came up just short in his first shot at the IBF strap, dropping a controversial decision to Robert Easter back in 2016. Before picking up the belt by demolishing Isa Chaniev earlier this year. Commey was clearly motivated and determined to hold on to the strap that eluded him for so long and did just that as well captured out Fighter Of The Week award.
In a scrap, that fight fans knew was going to be a can’t miss, toe-to-toe thriller as soon as it was announced. It certainly did not disappoint. Commey dropped the former world champ twice in the opening round and nearly got the stoppage.
However, the rugged Beltran got up off the deck, survived the round showing he was not about to go down without a fight.
Beltran was able to rally and had some big moments rocking Comey with left hooks and body shots getting himself back into the fight in rounds three and four. Commey was relentless however, and dropped his opponent in the fifth right with a crisp left hook. Again Beltran was able to get to his feet but Commey was in clear control from this point on, rocking Beltran with pin-point accurate left-hooks that Beltran had no answer for all night.
It was another massive left hook from the champ that early in the eighth round that sent Beltran to the canvas for a fourth and final time Beltran was able to beat the count.
However, referee Edward Hernandez Sr had seen enough and waived the bout off. Giving Commey his first successful title defense.
Commey is on the right side of the promotional street with Top Rank and has put himself in a great position to secure lucrative fights in the very near future.
A showdown with the unbeaten and highly regarded prospect, Teofimo Lopez is almost certainly going to happen next. Bob Arum confirmed that by saying “the fight is next, assuming Lopez beats Masayoshi Nakatani”. Lopez is scheduled to fight the unbeaten Nakatani next month in Maryland.
Should Commey defeat the upstart prospect, a unification bout with Vasyl Lomachenko would not only be the next logical step, but it would also be easily made as both fighters are signed with Top Rank as well.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank