Ghana’s lightweight campaigner, Richard Commey, has arrived in the United Kingdom ahead of his Friday world championship fight against undefeated American fighter, Robert Easter Jr. at the Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Commey, known among his fans as ‘Azonto’ will come face to face with Easter for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight title.
In the company of his trusted trainer Carl Lokko, the duo were seen off on Thursday night at the Kotoka International Airport by boxing fans and officials alike as he hopes to turn a career dream into reality.
Beaming with confidence, Commey told the Times Sports ahead of departure that ‘this is an opportunity I have looked for and prepared for many years and won’t let it slip.’
“The journey this far has been tough. There were occasions we wondered whether this day would come. Though we were confident it will come we never knew it would be this soon. Team Commey will make the best use of the opportunity”
According to Commey, it has been the desire of every boxing fan to see a new world champion after the previous champions reached the pinnacle of their careers.
“We have struggled to get a new title after Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey, Alfred Kotey, Joshua Clottey and others ended their careers. On Friday, when I mount the ring, I know I have the support and prayer of every Ghanaian behind me.”
The title was vacated by Rances Barthelemy, three days after defending it in order to move up in weight, resulting in an IBF order for the mandatory challenger, Commey to face Easter Jr., the next leading available contender.
The 29-year-old Barthelemy (25-0, 13 KOs), a Las Vegas-based Cuban defector, outpointed former title holder Mickey Bey in a rather one-sided fashion in Hollywood, Florida, and elected to vacate to pursue opportunities at junior welterweight.
Commey (24-0, 22 KOs) was at ringside for the Barthelemy-Bey fight to get an up-close look at the man he thought would be his next opponent. But with Barthelemy out of the picture, Easter (17-0, 14 KOs) is his new target.
By Andrew Nortey