IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey was playing with house money. Win or lose he was going to leave the ring at the Pechanga Resort & Casino (Top Rank promoted) with his title intact.
It could have resulted in an indifferent performance, but to his credit the man from Accra, Ghana, fought the fight of his life in stopping former WBO champion Ray Beltran at 54 seconds of the eighth round of their 12.
The 1.8lbs by which Beltran came in over the 135lbs limit resulted in his having to forgo 20 per cent of his 200K purse, to be split between Commey and the California commission.
It was agreed the fight could still take place provided he did not gain more than 10lbs by the time of a second weigh-in to be held in the early morning of the fight. Beltran did not. The fight was on, but in the event he won, the title would not change hands.
As for Commey, who made weight on his first try, there would be a second trip to the scales the following morning with as well. If he did not gain more than 10lbs in the interim, Commey was guaranteed to hold onto his crown regardless of what occurred in the ring. However, if he exceeded that he would be required to defeat Beltran to remain champion. A loss would render the title vacant.
In an ironic twist, when there was an unofficial weigh-in the night of the fight it was Commey who came in the heavier of the two.
At the end of the day there was a fight, a terrific one at that. It looked like it would end quickly when in the first round a right sent Beltran sprawling to the canvas. Beltran got up but was in deep trouble and took another count from referee Edward Hernandez Sr, who correctly ruled the ropes had kept him erect.
Commey went all out for the finish, but Beltran was still dangerous though hurt. Suddenly a left hook shook Commey, who backed off looking like he may have punched himself out. In truth though, he was regrouping.
It was give and take the rest of the way, but Commey was working well behind the jab and doing the better work.
Early in the fifth the Arizona-based Mexican was dropped again along the ropes. Beltran was in deep trouble, but like he has done so many times before, he fought through it. The physical nature of the fight was evident on the faces of both: Commey’s right eye was swollen, Beltran’s cut.
A left dropped Beltran for the fourth time in the fight in the eighth. Although Beltran regained his feet and signalled he was fine, Hernandez did not like his body language and stopped it.
Provided Teofimo Lopez gets by Masayoshi Nakatani on July 19, he is next up for Commey. The winner of that one would then be paired with whoever comes out of the Vasiliy Lomachenko -Luke Campbell matchup. And when the dust clears there would be an undisputed lightweight champion – until the sanctioning bodies restore the insanity they are known for.
Super-welterweight Carlos Adames looked bigger and stronger than Long Island’sPatrick Day and was. He overpowered Day over the second half of their 10-rounder and had him on the verge of a knockout when the final bell rang.
It could have easily been stopped by referee Ray Corona, who let it go to the scorecards, all of which favoured Adames (Zachary Young 98-91, Jerry Cantu and Max DeLuca both 97-92).
Day did well the first half, jabbing, moving, and getting off first, but you always got the feeling it was a matter of time before Adames took over. Adames. from the Dominican Republic, dedicated his victory to his countryman baseball star David Ortiz. who was the victim of a shooting a few weeks back.
In the night’s biggest upset, Mexican Miguel Angel Gonzalez dropped unbeaten Californian Saul Rodriguez in the opening seconds of their scheduled 10. Rodriguez came back and seemed to have the momentum on his side when he was tagged with a counter left in the third. It was highlight reel stuff. Rodriguez was stretched on his back and referee Thomas Taylor did not bother to count, waving it off at 1-23 of the round.
The Verdict Commey’s in the form of his life, but shopworn Beltran should call it a day.
Richard Commey (134 1/2lbs), 29-2 (26), w rsf 8 Ray Beltran (136.8lbs), 36-7-1 (22);Carlos Adames (154lbs), 18-0 (14), w pts 10 Patrick Day (154lbs), 17-3-1 (6); Junior Fa(259 1/2lbs), 18-0 (10), w pts 10 Dominick Guinn (234lbs), 37-13-1 (6); Miguel Angel Gonzalez (130 1/2lbs), 25-4 (21), w rsf 3 Saul Rodriguez (130 1/2lbs), 23-1-1 (17); Jose Rodriguez (145 1/2lbs), 7-0 (2), w pts 6 Vicente Morales (147 1/2lbs), 2-3 (1); Raymond Muratella (135lbs), 8-0 (5), w rsf 1 Augustine Mauras (147 1/2lbs), 6-6-3 (3); Christopher Zavala (129 1/2lbs), 5-0 (2), w pts 6 Prisco Marquez (130lbs), 4-1-1 (1); Elvis Rodriguez (129 1/2lbs), 2-0-1 (2), tech dec 1 Joaquin Chavez (141lbs), 9-18-4 (2); David Kaminsky (162lbs), 5-0 (2), w pts 4 Osbaldo Camacho Gonzalez (163lbs), 6-5 (4); Dmitry Yun (135 1/2lbs), 1-0, w pts 4 Jose Antonio Meza (135lbs), 6-4 (1).