IBF world lightweight champion Richard Commey 28-2 (25) will make the first defence of his title against former lightweight world champion Ray Beltran 36-8-1 (22) at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California this Friday night.
The 32-year-old from Ghana insists he won’t be gunning for a knockout, but says if it comes it will be a bonus.
“Every time I prepare for a fight, I don’t try to knock my opponent out. I just work hard, and it always comes as a bonus,” Commey said.
“My head trainer, Andre Rozier, always pushes me. I never try and knock out my opponent. It comes when it comes. I believe he’s a strong guy, a tough guy, and so am I. It’s going to be a good fight, but I’m the champion, and I’m going to keep my belt.”
Veteran Beltran, 38, who claimed the vacant WBO 135-pound title against Paulus Moses in February last year before losing the belt in his first defence against Jose Pedraza six months later, says he has nothing to prove against Commey.
“I don’t want to prove nobody nothing. I want to prove to myself that it’s about what I can do,” Beltran said.
“I’ve been doubted most of my career, and it doesn’t matter how much I do or what I accomplish. It’s never enough, so I’m not worried about it…I came from a really rough childhood. There was no hope. I was never satisfied with what life put in front of me.
“The saying, ‘If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ I say, ‘F**K that!’ I don’t want to get lemons. I want to get what I want from life. That’s my mentality.”
The winner of Commey-Beltran is expected to fight the victor of the IBF title eliminator between the talented Teofimo Lopez and Japanese veteran Masayoshi Nakatani on July 19.