Richard Commey successfully defends his title for the first time!
IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KO’s) made his first title defense in entertaining and dramatic fashion. In the ESPN main event, Commey managed to score an eighth round stoppage of the grizzled veteran Raymundo “Sugar” Beltran (36-9-1, 22 KO’s).
Given the way that the bout began, it’s hard to believe that it even made it to the eighth!
Right from the clang of the opening bell, the Ghanaian champion came out and immediately established a sharp, piercing jab. The blow was clearly bothering Beltran. Out of nowhere, Commey lands a mean-spirited straight right-hand on Sugar’s chin that sent him down.
Beltran quickly found his feet, but was clearly still rocked. Moments later, Commey had the tough Mexican pinned against the ropes and was once again landing some very heavy blows. So much so, that referee Edward Hernandez Jr ruled another knockdown.
While Beltran did not hit the canvas again, it was only because the ropes held him up. Although surviving to the conclusion of the first period was a dubious adventure, Beltran did hear the bell.
Amazingly, Sugar was able to, more or less, even out the action over the course of the second round. During the third period, Beltran continues to pick up his pace and effectiveness.
Behind a strenuous body attack, the gritty Mexican begins to really change the complexion of the bout. Throughout the period, Commey misses a number of punches extremely wide, giving the appearance that he was rapidly growing fatigued.
At the beginning of the fourth, there is a clash of heads that caused Commey to essentially call his own time out. Nothing much comes of the butt or break, and so the action resumes.
Later in the round, the IBF champion would hurt Beltran anew with a straight right-hand to the chin. Riding high off the fourth, Commey initiates the fifth round aggressively and even drops Sugar with a left hook.
Despite his weariness, Beltran found his feet again, and even manages to hurt the momentarily defensively unsound Commey with a right hook.
Round Six to Conclusion
At the beginning of the sixth period, following another clash of heads, Commey initiates another time out on his own. After the cessation in action, the two men in-fight and trade significant body shots over the remainder of the round.
The action remains even through the seventh round.
Near the beginning of the eighth round, Commey drops Beltran with a straight right to the mouth. Reestablishing his notorious reputation as a never say die boxer, Beltran once again found his feet.
Despite being ready and willing to fight, referee Hernandez waived the fight off. The stoppage was loudly booed by the audience in attendance. With the stoppage, Commey has successfully retained his IBF lightweight title.
While the champion enjoys his success, a new challenge will be lying in wait. On July 19, popular prospect and #4 rated contender Teofimo Lopez will face undefeated Japanese fighter and #3 ranked contedner Masayoshi Nakatani in an eliminator.
The winner (which many have already put their money on Lopez) will be the mandatory for Commey!
By: Bakari Simpson