Let’s get it on! That was Richard Commey’s immediate reaction after he was guaranteed another world title shot in the coming months following an order by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) to Robert Easter Jnr to defend his lightweight title against the Ghanaian.
“Robert Easter, I’m coming for you,” Commey said. If you want to fight, I want to fight. Let’s do it.”
“I am looking forward to fighting for the 135-pound world title and becoming champion."
It was the strongest message of intent by Commey, who got a befitting 31st birthday present with a sixth round knockout win over Alejandro Luna in a title elimination bout last Saturday night at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio. That victory earned the Ghanaian another chance to win the elusive IBF lightweight crown held by the American, Easter Jnr.
Last Monday, the IBF sent Easter Jnr a letter to formally notify him of his obligation to fight Commey in what would be a rematch of their September 2016 fight in which the American got knocked down by the Ghanaian in the eighth round but carried on and eked out a split decision to win a vacant world title.
“Your mandatory defence is due on or before March 30, 2018,” the IBF wrote. "The leading available contender is No. 1 Richard Commey. ... Negotiations should start immediately and be concluded by April 12, 2018. If you are unable to reach an agreement by April 12, 2018, the IBF will call for a purse bid to determine who will promote the bout, when and where."
Significantly, 27-year-old Easter Jnr was at ringside to watch Commey demolish Luna, as well as Mikey Garcia's unanimous decision against Sergey Lipinets to retain his IBF super lightweight championship.
Before the IBF directive, Easter Jnr said he preferred fighting WBC lightweight champion Garcia in a unification bout to the prospect of a rematch with Commey.
Easter Jnr will be hoping that Garcia returns to the 135-pound division to get his dream unification bout, which could lead to Easter asking for an exception to the mandatory title defence against the improved Commey, who improved his record to 24 wins (23 KOs) in 26 fights with two losses.
In a related development, Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) president, Peter Zwennes, believes Commey's destiny to become a world champion lies in his hands following his demolishing of Alejandro Luna in round six last Saturday.
Reacting to Commey’s victory, the GBA boss lauded the boxer for his bravery against Luna and said he proved he was in the right frame of mind to deal with any threat by Easter Jnr in their supposed rematch, writes Bernard Neequaye.
"I am happy for him and he has his destiny in his hands now. This is the time to become a world champion and he knows what he has to do,” he said.
Zwennes, however, advised Commey to be his judge in the ring when he challenges champion Robert Easter Jr in a rematch for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight title later this year.
“It will be ideal to see Commey take his own judge into the ring because of what he has been through in the last few years. He will be in good shape to win the title this time around when they clash,” the GBA boss added.