Richard Comey: “I Just Do What I Should Do”
By: Sean Crose
I’m Richard Comey is interesting. Unlike many in the contemporary fight game, Comey is soft spoken and easy going. A consummate professional who attained his IBF world lightweight title the hard way, without much fanfare, the Bronx native, by way of Ghana, makes his first title defense this weekend at Madison Square Garden against the hard hitting, Teofimo Lopez in a scheduled 12 rounder. The bout is a main attraction on the undercard of the Terence Crawford – Egidijus Kavaliauskas WBO welterweight title bout, one that will be aired live on ESPN. It will be the hard-hitting Comey’s first match in the fight city of the world, New York City, something he’s clearly excited about.
“Amazing,” he tells me over the phone, with genuine enthusiasm in his voice.
“This is what I do.” Indeed, boxing is what the man does, and at a high level, too. High enough to see him as an attraction on a major Madison Square Garden card. The sport, no doubt, has ultimately served the 32 year old well. Not that it’s been an easy road. Starting his career in 2011, it took until 2016 for the man to really make a mark on the fight world.
That mark came via a fight Comey actually lost (on the cards at least), a very entertaining and close battle with Robert Easter. After that came another tough loss to the longtime vet Denis Shafikov in Shafikov’s native Russia. Never one to be deterred, Comey kept plugging, winning three straight before finally earning the title by stopping Isa Chaniev earlier this year. Comey’s one defense to date was a knockout of the popular Raymundo Beltran last June.
“It is what it is,” Comey likes to say, referencing the sport he makes his living in. “I just do what I should do.” If by that Comey means winning, then yes, he’s been doing exactly what he should do. For here is a man who is not only able to emerge victorious, but to do so in thunderous fashion. The Chaniev fight, for instance, was brutal…and the Russian is just one of a whopping 29 men who have felt Comey’s power. In this regard, Comey has something in common with the young challenger he faces this weekend. For Lopez, too, is known to turn off the lights. That’s why Comey knows anything is possible “regardless of how hard you train.”
No matter what happens this weekend (and it would be absolutely foolish to write the defending champion off) Comey can be expected to emerge from the experience his usual easy going self. “I just enjoy being who I am,” he says. Not that anyone, least of all Lopez, should be fooled by that soft spoken demeanor of his. “You’re going,” Comey claims, “to see a good fight from me.”
Is Teofimo Lopez Ready for Richard Commey?
By: Hans Themistode
For a kid with just 14 pro fights, Lightweight prospect Teofimo Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs) has made quite a bit of noise.
In a short amount of time he has managed to headline his own card, make constant viral trips on highlight reels and most importantly, climb up the rankings.
As it currently stands, Lopez is the mandatory challenger for the IBF world title held by Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KOs). At the young age of 22, Lopez has been calling for his shot at a title for some time now. His wish has now been granted as negotiations have begun for a showdown between the two being targeted for Madison Square Garden, on December 14th.
Lopez, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, took the boxing world by storm. His knockout wins over both Mason Menard and Diego Magdaleno caught the attention of many. So did his signature backflip celebration. He’s young, strong and explosive but he’s also lacking in experience.
Going into his contest against Masayoshi Nakatani, Lopez was on a roll. He scored five straight knockouts and was looking to get number six. Nakatani was an unknown fighter making his U.S. debut. Until then, he never fought outside of his native land in Japan.
Everything seemed to be perfectly set up for Lopez. The contest was officially made as an IBF eliminator and it was the first time in the career of Lopez that he would be headlining his own card. What was supposed to be an easy night at the office, turned out to be anything but.
Nakatani landed a number on shots on Lopez throughout the contest. Something that many weren’t accustomed to seeing. The undefeated Brooklyn native found it difficult at times to find a home for his own shots. It was clear that the height and reach advantages that Nakatani possessed, four and three inches respectively, were a problem for Lopez.
For the first time in his career, Lopez fought in the 12th and final round. Although he came through with a wide decision victory, it was clear that it wasn’t the performance that he wanted. Lopez would go on to say that matching up with taller fighters is something that he would like to steer clear of.
“He’s tall but from this point on we’re fighting guys my height,” said Lopez during his post fight interview following his victory against Nakatani. “No more tall guys.”
It wasn’t just the height that caused issues for Lopez, but so did the right hand of Nakatani. Now that Lopez is heading towards his first crack at a world title he will have his own issues to be weary of.
Not only will Commey possess a three inch reach advantage but he also has a devastating right hand. The same sort of punch that Lopez had an issue avoiding his last time out. Commey will also have the edge in terms of experience by a long shot.
Lopez has been calling for his shot at a title for quite some time. He is getting exactly what he has been waiting for. There is no doubt that he is a great young fighter but Commey will push him like he has never been pushed before.
Jacobs vs. Mora II and Easter vs. Commey at Santander Arena in Reading, PA, Friday!
Jacobs vs. Mora II and Easter vs. Commey at Santander Arena in Reading, PA, Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
Two World Title fights headline Friday night at the Santander Arena in Reading, PA! King’s Promotions bring’s big time boxing to Reading on SPIKE TV with co-features starting at 9pm. Jacobs-Mora II and Easter and Commey for vacant title should be nothing but fireworks!
Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 31-1 (28), of Brooklyn, NY, defends his WBA World middleweight title against former WBC super welterweight champion and No. 15 contender Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora, 28-4-2 (9), of L.A. in a rematch from August of 2015. In December Jacobs scored a sensational knockout over former WBO champion Peter Quillin in the first round. Mora has not fought since August. Several weeks ago on a conference phone call Jacobs said “If he’s saying I didn’t knock him down that caused him to twist his ankle I felt the contact it in my hand,” said Jacobs. “He grazed the back of my head but my ankle was already twisted,” said Mora. Both boxers are managed by Al Haymon. The call ended with “Go F yourself. I’ll see you in two weeks old boy,” said Mora. “Well let’s do it on September the 9th. You already know Sergio I’m coming for you brother,” said Jacobs. There is obvious bad blood between the two since their first fight which should make for a very interesting contest.
In the other co-feature 2012 Olympic alternate Robert Easter, Jr., 17-0 (14), of Toledo, OH, and Richard Commey, 24-0 (22), of Accra, GH, fight it out for the vacant IBF Super lightweight title.
“Yeah I am very excited coming to Reading and fight for the IBF title. I hope Richard Commey is bringing his A game because I will be bringing mine,” said Easter. “I’ve worked very hard to get this opportunity as I’m sure Robert Easter, Jr. has too so it should be a great fight,” said Commey. Commey is No. 3 and Easter No. 4 with both the No. 1 and No. 2 vacant.
There are a dozen bouts on the undercard at this point but several will fall out or the Boxing Director Greg Sirb will see to it you don’t have much more than 7 bouts. In 8 round bouts former IBF welterweight and interim WBC champion Kermit “El Asesino” Cintron, 37-5-2 (28) of Reading continues his comeback. Local favorite super featherweight Frankie De Alba is in an 8. Another local favorite super Heavyweight Travis “My Time” Kauffman, 30-1 (22), of Reading is in a 10.
In a pair of 8 round bouts from Philadelphia crowd pleaser super middleweight Christopher “Ice Cold” Brooker, 10-1 (5) steps up to meet Elvin Ayala, 28-7-1 (12), of New Haven, CT. Light heavyweight Earl Newman, 9-0 (7), of Brooklyn will meet Leo Hall, 8-1 (7), of Detroit. Also scheduled yet without an opponent is Argentina’s Jorge Sebastian Heiland, 27-4-2 (14), who is the No. 1 WBC middleweight contender.
Super welterweight Erik Spring 7-1-1 (1), super welterweight Miguel Martinez, 2-2 (0), and super lightweight Kashon Hutchinson, 1-0 (1) all of Reading are in 6 round bouts. Also, from Philadelphia, the popular super featherweight Thomas “T.J.” Velasquez, 5-0 (4) out of the Danny “Swift” Garcia camp is in a 4 round bout. He is still without an opponent.