Richard Commey unfazed by Teofimo Lopez ahead of IBF lightweight title defence

Anthony Cocks

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IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey 29-2 (26) says he won’t be doing anything differently when he faces mandatory challenger Teofimo Lopez 14-0 (11) at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday.

“My thoughts are the same as always, I am going in there to win and retain my title,” Commey said to The Ring.

“To be honest, I have not seen a lot of him. I leave all that to my trainer. I trust him to come up with a game plan, which I train hard for, and as long as I execute it properly, I will come away victorious. It has worked so far.”

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Despite not watching tape on Lopez, Commey was ringside to watch the 22-year-old from Brooklyn knockout Edis Tatli in five rounds in April.

“My co-manager Michael Amoo-Bediako took me to MSG to see him fight Edis Tatli,” said the 32-year-old Ghanaian.

“Tatli did not put up much of a challenge, so (Lopez) was hard to assess on that. But from what everyone is saying, he is a very talented boxer, so I will not be taking him lightly.”

Lopez is widely regarded as one of the best prospects in the game but Commey insists there’s no fast-track to boxing stardom.

“It seems to me that every young prospect is taking over boxing since Floyd Mayweather retired,” said Commey.

“They all seem to forget the long hard road Floyd took before he became a pay-per-view star, so that’s a big statement to make.

“With me, I just want to win fights and titles, and when I retire people can decide how good I was. I have no desire to take over boxing, I just want to be a successful part of this wonderful sport we are in.”

His manager Michael Amoo-Bediako added: “It has been a long hard road to get Richard where he is today. We have had some bad luck and fallen foul of boxing politics at times.

“This added to the fact that Richard is Ghanaian has made the journey even tougher than I ever imagined, but I have to thank Lou DiBella.

“When Richard was released by his former promoters, after suffering two back-to-back heartbreaking split decision defeats against Robert Easter Jr and Denis Shafikov, Lou was the only one to reach out to me to sign Richard.

“This has enabled Richard to realize his goal of becoming a world champion.

“Now that Richard has this platform on December 14th, he will be able to show the world why he has been the most avoided lightweight in the division.”


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