Richard Commey battles for respect in world title defense against Teofimo Lopez
On December 14, Richard Commey will put his IBF lightweight title on the line against talented mandatory challenger Teofimo Lopez at Madison Square Garden.
Commey, who is rated No. 1 by The Ring at 135 pounds behind champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, has had a solid training camp, splitting time between Andre Rozier’s gym in Brooklyn and strength and conditioning coach David “Scooter” Honig in Long Island.
“Training has been going really well,” Commey told The Ring recently. “I knew this fight was happening a while back now, so the preparation has been spot-on.
“To be honest, I’m never out of the gym, so you can say it started as soon as I returned to the U.S. from Ghana back in August.”
Despite winning a world title, Commey continues to be overlooked, but the 32-year-old power-puncher believes that will change with a decisive victory over Lopez.
“Me and my team are fully aware of my position in this lightweight merry-go-round,” Commey said. “I have always been self-motivated to be the best I can be. With the fantastic team I have around me, which I’m so lucky to have, it’s difficult to want to be anything else but the best. They all demand it of me, as they demand it of themselves.
“We are focused on the job in hand. When the fight’s over, I doubt I’ll be overlooked again, then we’ll have our say.”
His long-term manager, Michael Amoo-Bediako, has battled hard to get Commey the attention he deserves.
“Because of the performances that Richard has put on since he relocated to the U.S., more and more boxing fans have started to respect and appreciate his achievements,” said Amoo-Bediako. “He is a true champion in every sense of the word and deserves that.
“But I still feel that in some quarters of the boxing fraternity, he does not get the same respect and affection afforded others in his division because he is an African. When you look at other lightweights, not mentioning names, their resumes do not come close to Richard’s. Even in his two defeats, Richard came out of them with immense credibility. But that’s boxing, and we are not complaining. Come December 14th that will all change for sure.”