Ghana’s Richard Commey lost his IBF lightweight boxing title in a dramatic fashion when he was knocked out in the second round by 22 year old Honduran-American Teofimo Lopez in the early hours of Sunday at the famous Madison Square Garden in New York – USA.
Teofimo Lopez now with a record of 15 fights, 15 wins and 12 knock outs was highly tipped and hyped by the American media to ride over the much experienced James Town born Richard Commey who lost for the third time to bring his career record to 30 fights and three loses, all away from home.
“If someone were to tell me I’d win my first world title at 22 years old at Madison Square Garden, I wouldn’t believe it. It’s huge. It’s happening, and it’s a blessing. We have the opportunity, and this is what we’re doing. Nine weeks in camp. I know ya’ll have seen the pictures. We’re ready, man” Lopez said confidently ahead of the bout.
He continued to say that he was ready to win and face Lomachenko for a unification fight with the WBC, WBA and WBO titles at stake.
“We’re ready. I am ready. Everyone will be tuned in for a reason. All I want is a great night for all the fans. When you have a great style fight like this, it’s going to be a short night.”
“We gotta get the job done on Saturday. We ain’t there yet.”
“I felt much happier than all my other camps. It’s a new me. I came back rejuvenated and ready to go. These last two fights, I missed that. I needed to go through these trials to make me the man I am today.”
“I have a great team behind me. I have everything I need.”
“We all saw what happened last year when I fought after the Heisman celebration. Look out.” reiterated.
At the press workout, Commey was of few words, but optimistic.
“I won my title in February, and I look forward to defending my title for the second time, my first fight at Madison Square Garden, home of champions.”
“I look forward to facing Teofimo Lopez and proving my worth in the ring. This is going to be one hell of a fight.” The Ghanaian expressed.
And indeed it was a hell of a fight for Commey who could not recover from a first round knock down, and suffered series of power punches and deadly hooks from Lopez in the second round forcing the referee to intervene to stop the fight and save him from further punishment.
Lopez came into the fight with a plan to stop the fight early and hid plan worked perfectly.
For Commey who came to the fight weighing 144 pounds, .4 lighter than Lopez, it was obvious there was something missing in him.
Many boxing fans say a return fight would be fair if it is in the contract of the fight, however, Lopez will now seek to unify the title in the lightweight division with a date against the dreaded Lomachenko.
While majority of American boxing devouts were tipping Lopez for a win, only a few Ghanaian boxing writers including yours truly were behind Commey, and he could not fight, because Lopez would not allow him with his sharp criss cross powerful punches.
Commey, Ghana’s 10th world champion lost but that is not the end of his game, he can come back again with a historic third crack at the title if he will get the opportunity.
He said after the fight that he went in to defend his title and fight for Ghana and Africa, but what happened, he never expected as he was caught and went down, but hopes to come back to winning ways.
He thanked all who supported him, and still feels proud to come from Ga Mashie in Accra.
By: Sammy Heywood Okine