Richard Commey captured the IBF lightweight title last weekend with a win over Isa Chaniev in Frisco, Texas, but his plans for a unification bout have been postponed.
Commey (28-2, 25 KOs) will miss out on a planned fight against Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) due to a right-hand injury.
Commey-Lomachenko had been scheduled for April 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“Lou DiBella, Commey’s promoter, informed us that [Commey] is out six to eight weeks because of the knuckle injury,” Carl Moretti, Top Rank’s vice president of boxing operations, confirmed to ESPN. “Lomachenko will still fight April 12.”
With Commey out of the picture for now, Anthony Crolla could fight Lomachenko in April.
Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs), a former WBA lightweight champ from Manchester, England, is that organization’s mandatory challenger after defeating Daud Yordan over 12 rounds in November in what was a WBA elimination bout.
The WBA had granted Lomachenko (who also has the WBO belt) and Top Rank a special permit to fight the winner of Commey-Chaniev, with the understanding that this bout had to take place by April.
“But obviously [Commey] can’t box in April, and under the WBA ruling, [Lomachenko] must fight Crolla next,” said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, which promotes Crolla. “We received an offer from Top Rank and we’re negotiating with them.”
Commey, on the other hand, will make a hero’s return to his native Ghana, after becoming the ninth boxer from that country to capture a world title.
Commey turned in a spectacular performance against Russia’s Chaniev, dropping him three times in total on his way to a merciless, second-round TKO.
He is expected to rest his injured right hand and then explore all lightweight options upon return to the USA. The opponent will likely be a Top-15 fighter in the IBF rankings as Lomachenko probably takes on Crolla next. The goal is to make the Lomachenko bout as soon as there is an opportunity.