Richard Commey wasted little time once the bell went for the IBF title fight against Russia’s Isa Chained on Saturday at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas and who could blame him. He had waited 3 years for this opportunity and lost twice in that time in controversial circumstances.
His shot at one of the golden boys of the fight game looked like it had been lost when Mikey Garcia chose a bigger payday and brighter lights with his decision to move up in weight and face budding star Errol Spence. You could not blame him if he had to find a way to unleash all that pent up anger and frustration. Poor Isa Chaniev.
Make no mistake Chaniev was nobody’s pansy and he came with bad intentions of his own as showed in the opening exchanges with Commey but credit to the Bukom kid who stuck to his game plan; jabs and powerful hooks.
In two rounds Commey landed 33 of 105 (31%) of his total punches, and 29 of 69 (42%) of his power shots as he overpowered Chaniev in short order. Chaniev landed 23 of 81 (28%) total punches and 19 of 64 (30%) of his power shots.
Andre Rozier: The decision to replace Commey’s longtime trainer and mentor Carl Lawrence Lokko with Andre Rozier two years ago would not have been an easy decision for the fighter and his manager Michael Amoo Bediako but it was a necessary pain.
Commey had shown tactical limitations in his two losses and looked like he had hit his ceiling under Lokko. Rozier took the brilliant foundation laid by Lokko and polished it into a meaner, more nuanced boxer and the results have been spectacular. An improved right hand and jab, better sparring partners and superior in-ring management have made for a more confident and happy Commey. The result has been devastating for his last three opponents.
Michael Amoo-Bediako: Commey is the masterpiece that the UK based manager has been working on for years. He has planned every leg of Commey’s career to the point where he is now on the verge of a unification bout with the widely recognised best fighter in the world, Vasily Lomachenko. Amoo-Bediako and his planning is the reason Commey is making decent money and being featured on the televised portion of major cards and not fighting in the late afternoon before camera lights go on.
Richard Commey: We have seen a lot of Ghanaian boxers on the cusp of breakthroughs fail to get back on the treadmill after losses but not Commey. His losses to Easter and Shafikov could have derailed him and led him down a dark path but he chose to work through them and earn his spot. “You go into fights like that and you don’t have any advantages on your side and you’re facing world-class boxers. These are people you just can’t knock them out and they train so hard.
“So if you can’t get a knockout, they have the home advantage and they are the A-side. Sometimes you get very frustrated.” This was Commey after his loss in Moscow to Shafikov.
His single-minded ambition to become a world champion for himself and his people got him here and he deserves credit.