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.”
By: Shane Willoughby
Richard Commey retains his IBF lightweight title against Raymundo Beltran with an impressive stoppage.
Commey came to show off his skills and he put on a fantastic exhibition. Beltran, like expected, came for a war and tried to make the fight messy but Commey’ s movement was way too much for him.
It’s not that the Champion was running but his footwork was very smart, whilst keeping his jab in the Mexicans face. But Beltran did get a little bit of success, swelling Commey’ s left eye.
Other than that, it was a one-horse race and Commey was really punishing the former champion with quick combinations. It was only a matter of time before he ended the fight.
Funny enough the 8th round was one of Beltran’s best rounds – he was able to get in range to land his shots. Unfortunately for him, he was also in range to get knocked down.
Commey landed a terrific check left hook, dropping Beltran to the canvas. He was able to return to his feet but was in no state to continue and the referee pulled the plug on Beltran’s hopes of becoming a world champion again.
Richard Commey put on a punch-perfect display and is definitely in line for a massive fight this year and possibly an undisputed fight with Lomachencko.
Another fight on the card was between Carlos Adames and Patrick Day. From the 1st round, it was clear to see that Day had much better boxing fundamentals.
Round after round he was landing punches and making Adames miss with his jab but what was also clear, was he couldn’t hurt the Adames. It could be because Adames has great punch resistance but you get the impression Day has limited punching power
6 knockouts in 20 fights is a fair indication that you can’t really punch. He was landing great combinations on the inside but Adames with the high guard was just soaking it up.
Adames makes a similar mistake to Golovkin and Spence Jr. When his opponent throws combinations he puts up the high guard, lets them punch and tries to catch them on the way out. That is a very tricky skill to perfect because if you don’t land that single shot, you lose the exchange.
The Dominican does have power and he was looking to land power shots all night long. But his ability to set up punches was more than questionable. At times he couldn’t land a jab on a stationary target.
His punch power is real but his boxing intelligence is below par. Yes, Patrick Day was moving quite a bit but his footwork is far from a Pernell Whittaker and Adames was falling short quite a lot, especially in the early rounds.
If only Day knew how to throw punches on the move he would have caused Adames some problems. But the fight went as most expected. Adames eased his was to a points victory.
But there were a great number of holes exposed in Adames performance. Any fighter with decent power but good lateral movement will school this kid. It’s a good thing Andrade made that jump to 160 because Adames wouldn’t win a round against him.
When you match two Mexicans against each other it’s always a war. Saul Rodriguez vs Miguel Gonzalez was no exception. The bell rang and they swung.
Within 10 seconds Saul Rodriguez was floored with a beautiful left hook. The pre-fight favourite definitely was hurt by that shot but was able to return to his feet.
It was clear to see what was going on. Gonzalez was way more experienced in those situations. Whilst Rodriguez is older, Gonzalez has clearly been battle hardened. Fighting tougher opponents may have resulted in him losing 4 times, but he knows exactly what not to do in exchanges.
Rodriguez was way to green. Making schoolboy mistakes like trading with his chin in the sky. Big mistake! He was getting hit way too easily.
Whilst Neno was showing good effort coming forward, Gonzalez was making veteran moves; just waiting to catch and counter with that left.
He didn’t have to wait long; in the 3rd round, he caught Rodriguez with a fantastic short left hook and had Gonzalez out for the counter. Knock out of the year candidate?
If you watch that exchange it is identical to how Dillian Whyte knocked Dereck Chisora out last year. Both trading left hooks but, when one hook is wider than the other, the shorter shot lands. One fighter with his chin in the air and bang! One punch Knockout.
Very strong performance from Miguel Gonzalez, fighting “Mexican style” whilst displaying very good ring intelligence.
By: Shane Willoughby
With the number of dates the television networks have, it’s no surprise promoters fight cards clash. But this weekend is one for the boxing die hards – the real hardcore fight fans.
After the Fury vs Schwarz debacle boxing fans are desperate for some solid matchups. Top Rank returns with a real and extremely strong fight card this Friday at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in California.
Headlining the show will be Richard Commey making his 1st defence of his IBF title against the seasoned veteran Raymundo Beltran.
Whilst Beltran has seen better days, now aged 38, he was WBO Lightweight champion last year before losing to Pedraza. This is probably Commey’s biggest step up since he won the title but everyone is still expecting him to win.
Whilst Beltran will be seen as an underdog he has never been a fighter not to give 100% and so long as he has life in his body he will be going for it from the first bell. This fight could be fireworks. Commey has the power to knock anyone out.
However, It would be interesting to see what style Commey tries to bring. We saw him take a safety-first approach in the Shafikov. Plus, with a possible Undisputed fight with Lomachencko around the corner, it’s difficult to know how Commey will come out.
The only issue is Beltran definitely isn’t afraid of getting into a tear up and he will come forward all night. It’s just whether Commey will try and box early or go for the kill. If he does go for it then it’s going to be a hell of a fight while it lasts.
Heavyweight prospect Junior Fa is back in action against the veteran Dominick Guinn. The New Zealander is looking to improve on his 17-0 record and possibly move on to bigger fights at the back end of this year. He shouldn’t have many problems with Guinn, who is definitely past it.
Maybe if it was the Guinn who fought Monte Barret 15 years ago, then he could pose a threat. But with that said, in Guinn’s 12 losses he has never been stopped. The veteran definitely knows how to defend himself so, Fa will probably be in for a long nights work.
Some fights you can just look at before the bell rings and know; this is going to be entertaining. This is going to be a war. One of Mexico’s highly touted prospects is in action against Miguel Gonzalez. Saul Rodriguez is in a decent step up fight here, whilst Gonzalez has had 4 losses, he has never been knocked out or even come close.
In addition to that, Gonzalez is young and hungry – coming off 2 good knockout performances himself. Now whilst neither fighter is a household name, everyone knows what happens when you match two Mexicans against each other. War!
Trust me, this fight will not disappoint, both fighters can punch but are not very defensively aware. So it should be an intense scrap. Both young with a good engine; this fight could be like a scene out of Rocky.
The fight of the night will probably be Carlos Adames vs Patrick Day. Now whilst it will not offer you the same level of entertainment as the others, its a real ‘pick-em’ fight. It’s the old school matchup of brawler vs boxer, speed vs power.
There are some fighters who from the first bell have evil intentions, Adames is the epitome of that. He wants to hurt his opponents and he will try and bring pain from the start. But Day is a tricky customer and won’t stay stationary.
At times Adames will probably look silly chasing Day around, and the Dominican fighter tends to admire his work and get very inactive, which could create an opportunity for Day to land. With that said it’s difficult to see him avoid Adames’ power punches for 10 rounds and if he does land, his day is done.
Either way, it should be extremely interesting to watch and if Adames gets through the fight without any problems, then he is a real player in the super welterweight division and should be looking for a big step up.
It’s good to see Bob Arum return with a good competitive card after Tyson Fury’s exhibition match. This card will probably go unnoticed but for the real hard-core fans who end up watching it, they will be in for a real treat.