IBF World Lightweight Champion Richard Commey has long ago given up on expecting to be called out by any of his peers.
Still, it’s a slight disappointment that not even the perceived best lightweight in the world, Vasilily Lomachenko barely even mentions his name unless directly asked—a strange scenario, since the two own all of the relevant divisional hardware between them.
“Fighters are fighters and they would mostly always want to prove themselves against the best but boxing is a business run by people who plot and plan their prospects careers carefully,” Michael Amoo-Bediako, Commey’s longtime manager noted to BoxingScene.com. “It doesn’t surprise me that Richard’s name doesn’t get mentioned. It happened here years ago when I had Richard based in the UK when he was the Commonwealth champion and now that he’s based in the USA it’s the same thing.
“This time he’s a world champion so sooner or later they will have to come calling, especially when Richard is holding all four belts.”
A perfect world would leave Commey (29-2, 26 KOs)—a 32-year old Ghana native who now lives and trains in The Bronx—two wins away from becoming undisputed lightweight champion.
Next up is a mandatory title defense versus unbeaten challenger Teofimo Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs), as the two will collide Dec. 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The bout was ordered by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) in August, with Brooklyn-bred Lopez–who represented Honduras in the 2012 Rio Olympics and now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada—agreeing to terms for his first career title fight shortly before their early September deadline.
The bout will mark the second defense of the title Commey claimed with a 2nd round knockout of Isa Chaniev this past February in Frisco, Texas. With the win came a co-promotional pact entered with Top Rank (Commey is primarily promoted by DiBella Entertainment), who guides the careers of Lopez and Lomachenko, the latter whom owns three lightweight belts and is being dangled as the prize for the winner of the planned Dec. 14 clash.
Whenever asked on the subject, Lomachenko’s response are generally limited to his desire to face Lopez, although recently predicting that he doesn’t believe the undefeated contender will prevail. Almost always missing from such conversations are any mention of Commey, the defending titlist.
“Well after Richard defeats Lopez, Lomachenko has a decision to make,” noted Amoo-Bediako. “Richard is not looking past Lopez but is relishing the opportunity to become the undisputed lightweight champion of the world who ever he fights.
“That’s not just his goal but the whole team’s as well because we know Richard is the best lightweight on the planet.”