Commey ready to ‘rock and roll’ against Beltran

Author: Bernard Neequaye
Richard Commey

International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight titlist, Richard Oblitey Commey, says he is ready to use his upcoming defence against Ray Beltran as an opportunity to prove his ambition of becoming an undisputed lightweight champion of the world.

Commey, who defeated Russia’s Isa Chaniev to win the world title last February, believes he has the right to prove his worth to the American public when he faces former WBO champion, Beltran, on June 28 at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California.

The 32-year-old Ghanaian is looking forward to “rock and roll” against his Mexican opponent but admitted also that he had “utmost respect” for the challenger who would be making an attempt to become a two-time world champion.

In an interview with ESPN, Commey (28-2, 25 KOs) said he was honoured to be headlining an ESPN show as a world champion and to be fighting a former world champion whom he had profound respect for.

"This is an opportunity for me to show the American public that I'm here to become the undisputed lightweight champion of the world. The path is set, and come June 28, I'll be ready to rock 'n' roll,” the Ghanaian added.

Commey is back at his US base training under the guidance of American trainer, Andre Rozier, after he was declared fit following a right hand injury in the Chaniev fight. He sees his first title defence against Beltran as an opportunity to attain greater height in the lightweight division.

Meanwhile, Beltran (36-8-1, 22 KOs) says he expects a tough encounter with Commey as he aims to become world champion again and also claim the title as a fitting birthday present.

"I'm excited to announce that Freddie Roach [veteran trainer] is back in my corner after all these years. When I was working with Manny Pacquiao, I saw what Freddie can do, both in camp and in the corner.

“I expect a tough fight, but that’s the kind of fight I like. We are both very experienced, so it will come down to who is willing to lay his heart on the line that night. After losing my title to Jose Pedraza, I think some people thought I was done, but I always come back and prove that I belong. I’m excited to announce that Freddie Roach is back in my corner after all these years.

"I'm grateful to Top Rank and ESPN for having me back. The only thing I want for my birthday (on July 23) is the IBF world title,” said the 37-year-old Mexican.