CONFIRMED: Commey to fight Beltran June 28

Author: Bernard Neequaye
Richard Commey is looking forward to a successful title defence

Ghana’s IBF lightweight champion, Richard Oblitey Commey, will make his first title defence against former WBO titlist, Ray Beltran, at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California on June 28.

Commey has been in training camp since his hand injury healed and will be looking forward to having a successful first title defence next month.

The 32-year-old Ghanaian won the vacant IBF world title via a second-round knockout of Isa Chaniev on February 2 at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas which could have landed him a unification bout against Ukrainian hard-hitting puncher Vasyl Lomachenko on April 12 but his injury ruled him out.

According to Top Rank, the Commey-Beltran winner will be in line to face lightweight prospect Teofimo Lopez Jr later in the year if he wins his IBF eliminator with fellow undefeated Japanese fighter Masayoshi Nakatani on July 19.

Commey (28-2, 25 KOs) faces a must win bout if he is to maintain his hopes of becoming an undisputed lightweight champion of the world.

Beltran (36-8-1, 22 KOs), 37, on the other hand since losing his WBO lightweight crown to Jose Pedraza in August last year has managed a knockout victory over Hiroki Okada in his last fight.

The decision to challenge Commey provides him another opportunity to fight for the world title and could become a two-time titlist should he beat his opponent.