Richard Commey faces yet another potential purse bid. The IBF says Commey, their number-one ranked lightweight contender, and number-three contender Isa Chaniev must finalize negotiations for a bout by Friday, November 30.
The IBF world lightweight title was vacated by Mikey Garcia just one day before a purse bid was to be held between Garcia and mandatory challenger Commey. Garcia, 39-0 (30 KOs), is close to finalizing a deal to move up and face undefeated IBF world welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., which would probably take place in March 2019.
Commey, 31, 27-2 (24 KOs), has held that mandatory position since last March, when he stopped Alejandro Luna in six rounds.
Commey’s promoter Lou DiBella of DiBella Promotions must now negotiate with Chaniev’s promoter, World of Boxing, or face a purse bid that could see the fight end up on favorable grounds for the Russian.
That could prove damaging for Commey’s chances at victory. Last May, Venezuela’s Ismael Barroso traveled to Latvia to face Chaniev (13-1, 6 KOs). The latter ended up climbing off the canvas in the second to win a deserved unanimous decision. However, he was awarded a controversial knockdown in that same second round when his feet tangled with Barroso’s, tripping him and causing him to fall.
Commey is no stranger to questionable decisions on foreign soil. In December 2016, he lost a hotly-disputed split decision to Denis Shafikov in Shafikov’s native Russia. Earlier, in September of that year, he lost a split decision to American Robert Easter Jr. in Reading, Pennsylvania, for the vacant IBF 135lb. belt.
Commey has fought his way back to another world title shot. In a stay busy bout last August, he bulldozed Yardley Cruz in two rounds. This was his second bout under new trainer Andre Rozier. Rozier also trains current IBF world middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs. Commey relocated from Ghana to New York in August 2017 to begin work with the respected coach, replacing long-time trainer Lawrence Carl Lokko.