IN front of 2,795 fans at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California, IBF lightweight king Richard Commey produced an eye-catching, power-punching performance to dispatch Raymundo Beltran.
The Bronx-based Ghanaian decked Beltran on no less than four occasions – twice in the first, once in the fifth and once in the eighth. After the last knockdown – caused by a fierce combination – the Mexican veteran bravely rose to his feet, but the referee decided he had seen enough and called the contest off after 54 seconds of the round.
Despite the emphatic nature of the finish, Commey, who won the IBF strap in February, was forced to swallow some weighty counter hooks during the contest, as Beltran had his moments. However, the champion’s chin stood up to the tests well.
Beltran, a former WBO titlist who lives in Arizona, would not have been able to lift the IBF belt even if he had beaten Commey. At the previous day’s weigh-in, he had failed to make the 135lb limit, resulting in him forfeiting his chance of claiming the championship. The fight, nevertheless, went ahead.
After the bout, promoter Bob Arum stated that Commey will next face Brooklyn’s unbeaten Teofimo Lopez, assuming the highly touted youngster gets past Japan’s Masayoshi Nakatani in an IBF final eliminator on July 19.
Commey was pleased to defeat a well-established opponent and is looking forward to the prospect of taking on Lopez later this year.
“Beltran’s a great fighter who showed it against me. I was happy to get the job done,” Commey said. “It looks like Lopez is next, but he has a job to do first.”
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