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Richard Commey: Losing to Marinez isn’t an option

BY: Bernard Neequaye
Richard Commey
Richard Commey

Richard Commey, Ghana’s former International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight champion, says he has never thought of losing his upcoming bout with Jackson Marinez on February 13.

Commey said he needed an emphatic victory over the Dominican Republic fighter to help him focus on becoming a two-time world champion.

The 33-year-old Ghanaian boxer has been training in New York in preparation for his bout with Marinez after a long absence in the ring.

Commey last fought in December 2019 when he lost his IBF belt to now unified lightweight titlist, Teofimo Lopez. Since then, the Ghanaian has been out of the ring partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an exclusive interview with the Graphic Sports from his New York base, Commey said he was mentally and physically prepared to beat Marinez.

“I’m training hard, of course, and getting myself physically and mentally prepared for this fight. Preparation has gone very well; I have trained really hard and had some excellent sparring,” Commey revealed.

“All I know is that I have trained extremely hard for this fight and I am only thinking of being victorious.”

Many pundits fear that Commey might suffer from ring rust against Marinez having gone over a year without being active, but the hard-hitting fighter thinks otherwise.

The Ghanaian boxer is of the view that taking a long break from the sport after that painful defeat to Lopez rather helped him re-evaluate his career.

“I don’t think I will suffer from ring rust against Marinez because I believe you sometimes need a long lay-off to re-evaluate your position and to rest your mind and body so that when you return, you are fully focused,” Commey told Graphic Sports.

The bout is expected to be a thriller but Commey stands tall, having fought tougher opponents than Marinez.

While Commey boasts of four world championship fights, Marinez is yet to make his maiden world title appearance. The Dominican’s last bout was an interim world title bout with Rolando Romero, which he lost via a controversial decision.

When asked if he had opponents he would like to face after the Marinez fight, Commey said he remained focused on going past his current opponent before thinking of who next to fight.

“I never look past the opponent that I have in front of me; that is very disrespectful and you could become complacent if you are not focused on the task on hand.

“I believe once I get the victory, I will sit down with my team to see what offers are on the table,” he added.