AFTER Maxim Vlasov tested positive for COVID-19 just two days before his scheduled clash with Joe Smith Jnr for the vacant WBO light-heavyweight title, the contest had to be postponed. With a new headline bout needed for Top Rank’s show at The Bubble inside the MGM Grand, the 10-rounder between lightweights Richard Commey and Jackson Marinez was bumped up to main event status.

In his first fight since losing the IBF 135lb crown to Teofimo Lopez in December 2019, Commey bounced back in fine style by powering past Marinez. It took Commey a couple of rounds to find his range, but when he did, Marinez had no answer to the Ghanaian’s aggressive approach and, in particular, his vaunted right hand.

The Bronx-based Commey, 33, claimed a knockdown in the final minute of the sixth when he followed up a jab with a pair of rights over the top. Marinez, 30, made it back to his feet but was soon down again – this time definitively. A perfectly placed right hand exploded off the Dominican’s jaw and caused him to catapult off the ropes and onto the canvas. Referee Kenny Bayless immediately waved the match off at 2-35.

Commey (136lbs) now boasts a 30-3 (27) record, while Santo Domingo’s Marinez (135 1/2lbs) has lost twice against 19 wins (seven inside time).

The Verdict Commey shows that he is still a force at lightweight.