Boxing News of Tuesday, 6 November 2018
A veteran promoter and board member of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA), Alhaji Muritela Tofik, believes the nation has a new world champion in Richard Commey and has, therefore, charged the Ghanaian to go for a knockout when he fights Russia’s Isa Chaniev for the vacant IBF world lightweight title early next year.
Alhaji Tofik noted that the decision by undefeated Mikey Garcia to vacate the IBF belt was a blessing in disguise for Commey since it would provide the Ghanaian the opportunity to become the nation’s next world champion.
The IBF directed Commey (27-2, 24 KOs) to open negotiations quickly with Chaniev (13-1, 6 KOs) after four-division world titlist, Garcia, moved up in weight to challenge Errol Spence Jr at welterweight.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Alhaji Tofik advised Commey to remain focused and not to underrate Chaniev because he had not really faced any tougher opponent.
The veteran promoter urged Commey to bring his experience to bear against Chaniev, having fought for the title before in 2016 when he lost controversially to Robert Easter Jr.
“Commey is ready to take up his opportunity and I believe he will be Ghana’s next world champion by next year. I want him to go for a knockout when it comes but should never underrate his opponent.
“The decision by Mikey Garcia to vacate the IBF world title in order to move up was the best thing to have happened to Commey and I know it will provide him the chance to realise his dream,” Alhaji Tofik said.
Commey was expected to challenge Garcia after the undefeated fighter beat Easter Jr in a unification bout at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on July 28, but Garcia opted for a bigger pay-per-view fight against Spence Jr.
Meanwhile, Commey has improved his technical ability since coming under the tutelage of renowned trainer Andre Rozier, and is currently on a three-fight winning streak, having dispatched Hedi Slimani, Alejandro Luna and Yardley Cruz in the process.
The Ghanaian stands a chance of realising his dream of becoming a world champion against a minnow in Chaniev, who is yet to fight outside Eastern Europe.