Commey defends title tonight

THE road to lightweight supremacy continues tonight at Pechanga Resort Casino when IBF world lightweight champion Richard Commey (28-2, 25 KOs) makes the first defence of his title against former lightweight world champion Ray Beltran (36-8-1, 22 KOs).

The winner of Commey-Beltran is expected to fight the winner of the July 19 IBF title eliminator featuring unbeaten sensation Teofimo Lopez and Japanese veteran Masayoshi Nakatani. The winner of this de facto tournament could conceivably face unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko for all four lightweight belts in early 2020.

Beltran lost his WBO lightweight title to Jose Pedraza last August, but rebounded to stop unbeaten super lightweight contender Hiroki Okada in February.

Commey knocked out Isa Chaniev in two rounds on February 2 in Frisco, Texas, to pick up the vacant title.

In the co-feature, 154-pound slugger Carlos Adames (17-0, 14 KOs) will defend his NABO and NABF belts in a 10-rounder versus upstart Patrick Day (17-2-1, 6 KOs).

The Ghanaian boxer expressed optimism ahead of the fight at Wednesday’s final press conference. “Being a world champion is great. I went back home, and everyone welcomed me at the airport. It was like a hero’s welcome. It was unbelievable. I just thank God for that.”

“Every time I prepare for a fight, I don’t try to knock my opponent out. I just work hard, and it always comes as a bonus. My head trainer, Andre Rozier, always pushes me. I never try and knock out my opponent. It comes when it comes. I believe he’s a strong guy, a tough guy, and so am I. It’s going to be a good fight, but I’m the champion, and I’m going to keep my belt.”

For Beltran, it is an opportunity to prove himself once again.

“I don’t want to prove nobody nothing. I want to prove to myself that it’s about what I can do. I’ve been doubted most of my career, and it doesn’t matter how much I do or what I accomplish. It’s never enough, so I’m not worried about it.” – BoxingScene

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