By: Hans Themistode
Richard Commey (29-3, 26 KOs) was hoping to make his return to the ring in a much quieter way. With Joe Smith Jr. and his dance partner Maxim Vlasov being removed from the card due to Vlasov’s positive COVID-19 test, Commey has subsequently been moved to the main event slot and will have the spotlight all to himself.
It’s been a long time since anyone has seen Commey inside the ring. His last appearance, of course, was one he would rather forget. Roughly a year and a half ago, Commey dropped his newly won IBF lightweight title to Teofimo Lopez via second round stoppage. In hindsight, the loss doesn’t look awful considering Lopez went on to defeat Vasiliy Lomachenko and become the youngest undisputed champion of all-time. But still, his performance was horrific.
Joining Commey in his brighter than anticipated spotlight is Jackson Marinez (19-1, 7 KOs). The Dominican Republic product is still adamant that the loss on his record is nothing more than a mere typo as both he and most of the boxing world believe he did more than enough to earn a victory over Rolando Romero in August of 2020.
Coming into this one, both fighters need a win in the worst way but for different reasons. For Commey, there’s simply no other way to put it. He looked bad against Teofimo Lopez. Really bad. While most were expecting Lopez to win, almost no one anticipated their contest being so one-sided. A win this Saturday night won’t erase the memory of referee David Fields stepping in to save Commey from further punishment, but it’ll push the narrative that he simply had an off night.
As for Marinez, although most of the world is convinced that he should have been given the nod in his last contest, a win over a former world titlist and perpetual contender in Commey will allow him to take a step forward in his career, after the multiple steps he took back following the loss.
Official Prediction: Jackson Marinez
This is a tough one to call. Rolando Romero is pretty highly regarded despite his antics outside of the ring. What Marinez did against him was nothing short of impressive. But outside of that, he hasn’t exactly fought top competition and with seven knockout wins under his belt, he doesn’t appear to pack a ton of power in his fists.
Commey, on the other hand, has always been a heavy hitter. He gave both Denis Shafikov and Robert Easter Jr. a tough time and did score a win against Raymundo Beltran. With that being said, he is 33 years old and he has been in a number of wars during his career. Couple that with Marinez proving that he has the skills to deal with someone who has the capability of taking their opponent’s heads off and I feel fairly confident that Marinez will box his way to a decision victory.