On Saturday, February 2, 2019, Richard Commey (28-2, 25 KOs) stepped into the ring to take on Isa Chaniev (13-2, 6 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout for the vacant IBF Lightweight championship.
As Round By Round Boxing‘s Vladimir Lik documented in an interview with Commey earlier this week, a world title has been on Commey’s radar for quite some time and he was already dreaming of what it would bring.
“I don’t have words to describe it,” said Commey. “It will mean so much to my people. It will mean so much to so many people.”
Commey came out very aggressive in Round 1, looking to pressure Chaniev and overwhelm him. Commey connected with some solid blows early and stumbled Chaniev midway through the round and then with 30 seconds left, he dropped and hurt Chanoev badly with a left hook, right hand combination.
Commey rushed Chaniev looking to end things, but lost some time by falling to the canvas himself. He was able to sneak one more big shot in before the end of the round, which sent Chaniev back to his corner on wobbly legs.
As the second stanza started, Commey picked up right where he left off, but instead of dropping Chaniev with a right, he feinted with the right and connected with a nice short left.
Chaniev got up, but referee Laurence Cole jumped in to stop things a few moments later at 39 seconds of Round 2.
After the fight, ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna suggested that a fight against Vasiliy Lomachenko is already set for April 12.
“At the moment, I don’t know what to say now,” said Commey when asked about that fight. “I just want to enjoy this title.”
Can Commey pose a threat to the pound-for-pound king? Only time will tell, but Tim Bradley–who was calling the fight on ESPN–seems to think Commey can definitely hang with Lomachenko.
Commey, alongside his world-class trainers Andre Rozier and Gary Stark, will certainly have their work cut out for them. But in boxing, anything is possible and Commey has a lot of talent and seems to be sharper than ever with his new trainers.
“Because of the hard work, if you have these people behind you (Rozier and Stark), you just want to give everything,” said Commey.
Commey joins Lightweight champions Lomachenko (WBA and WBO) and Mikey Garcia who currently holds the WBC strap.
Update: ESPN reports that Richard Commey injured his right hand during the fight. According to the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire, Commey says he felt a pop in his right hand on the first knockdown punch, but expects to be cleared to train following a medical inspection.