Richard Commey: Vasiliy Lomachenko has it all and is a credit to the sport
Former IBF lightweight titlist Richard Commey will face pound-for-pound entrant Vasiliy Lomachenko at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
Commey, who is rated No. 5 by The Ring at 135 pounds, is pleased to be back in a big fight after losing his title to Teofimo Lopez at the same venue two years ago.
“If you want to be the best you have to face the best and Lomachenko is certainly one of the best,” Commey (30-3, 27 knockouts) told The Ring. “It will be an honor sharing the ring with him, but as soon as the first bell goes it will be him standing in the way of my dream to become a world champion again.”
The 34-year-old Ghanaian believes that the Lomachenko showdown is the next best thing to a world title bout.
“It’s like fighting for a world title without the belts,” he said. “We are both highly rated in most of the sanctioning bodies and we are headlining at the MSG.”
Commey is well aware of the unique talent that Lomachenko possesses and isn’t shy about offering praise.
“What can I say that hasn’t already been said?,” he asked. “His amateur record is unreal and he brought his skills into the pro ranks to become a three-weight world champion. He has it all and is a credit to the sport.”
The hard-working Commey has stayed in the gym since getting back in the win column against Jackson Marinez in February and believes his team have devised a plan to upset the gifted Ukrainian.
“My trainer Andre Rozier and Gary Stark have been working hard with me,” Commey confirmed. “They believe in me and I will take that belief into the ring with me come December 11th.
“[I have to bring] my A-game. As long as I stay focused and listen to my corner, I feel I have all the tools to be victorious on the night.”
Long-term manager Michael Amoo-Bediako is pleased with how Commey has handled himself over the past couple of years.
“I am proud of Richard, coming back from the Teofimo defeat and having to wait patiently for his opportunity,” said Amoo-Bediako. “He kept himself ready for the call and when the Marinez bout came he took his opportunity to get himself back in the mix in devastating fashion.
“I believe it’s a great match up and I am confident Lomachenko will bring out the best in Richard. On a personal note, to manage a Ghanaian fighter headlining in Madison Square Garden is an achievement beyond my wildest dreams and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Lomachenko hold wins over Gary Russell Jr. (MD 12), Roman Martinez (KO 5), Nicholas Walters (RTD 7), Guillermo Rigondeaux (RTD 6) and Jorge Linares (TKO 10). The 33-year-old ex-champ is 15-2 (11 knockouts).
The ESPN event will also feature rising heavyweight prospect Jared Anderson facing once-beaten Oleksandr Teslenko. The broadcast will begin at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.