IBF orders Richard Commey vs. Teofimo Lopez fight
By Mark Eisner: Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KOs) has been ordered by the International Boxing Federation to defend his IBF lightweight title against unbeaten mandatory Teofimo Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs) next. Commey and Teofimo have 30 days to negotiate the fight before a purse bid takes place.
The timing of this fight for the 22-year-old Lopez is horrible, as he’s coming off of a poor performance last July against Masayoshi Nakatani. Teofimo beat the tall 5’11 1/2″ Nakatani (18-1, 12 KOs) by a wide 12 round unanimous decision in an IBF 135 pound title eliminator in Oxon Hill, Maryland. However, the scores were much wider than the actual fight that took place.
The judges surprisingly scored the fight 118-110, 119-109 and 118-110. The fans saw Teofimo edging it just barely by a 115-113 score. Many boxing fans felt that it should have been a draw. The wide scores given to Teofimo was viewed by some as a situation where the A-side fighter was given a wider score than he rated.
Commey vs. Lopez winner will face Lomachenko-Campbell winner
The winner of the Commey vs. Teofimo fight will soon be fighting the winner of the August 31 match between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Luke Campbell. Those two are fighting for the vacant World Boxing Council lightweight title at the O2 Arena in London, England. Top Rank, the promoters for Commey, Teofimo and Lomachenko, badly wants to put the fight for the undisputed 135 pound championship together in early 2020. Top Rank boss Bob Arum has made it clear repeatedly that he believes that Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) will be the last man standing when the smoke clears from those fights.
Arum has compared Lomachenko, 31, to a young Muhammad Ali in terms of talent. Unfortunately, Lomachenko has failed to win over the American populace with his show-boating, high volume punching style of fighting. The U.S boxing fans prefer to see fighters that go to war, and look to score knockouts. That’s the way that the late Ali fought during his career, especially during the early portion of his career. Lomachenko is more of finesse type of fighter, who wears them down mentally, causing them to quit.
Commey a tough fight for Teofimo
Teofimo, 22, will have his hands full in taking on the powerful 32-year-old Commey. Arum may see his young fighter Teofimo lose for the first time when he meets up with Commey. The cracks in Teofimo’s facade are starting to show with his recent performance against Nakatani. Lopez barely won that fight, and it’s clear that he’s not the fighter that Top Rank thought he was when he turned pro in 2016. Although Teofimo is a great self-promoter, he’s not as good as his promoters at Top Rank originally thought he was.
Arum has had the Lomachenko vs. Lopez in the planning stages for some time, but that not happen now. Lopez’s fight against Nakatani showed that he’s a flawed fighter, who will be lucky if he beats Commey. What Teofimo has in his favor is his popularity. If the fight with Commey goes the full 12 rounds, Teofimo will have an excellent chance of winning.
Commey won the vacant IBF lightweight title last February in stopping Isa Chaniev in the second round. The fight was a complete mismatch with Commey knocking down the over-matched Chaniev three times before the bout was stopped in the second round.
Teofimo won’t have to worry about Commey’s height
After Teofimo’s recent fight with the 5’11 1/2″ Nakatani, he said he doesn’t want to fight anymore tall guys. The good news for Teofimo is Commey is 5’8″, which is the exact same height as him. If Lopez struggles against Commey, he won’t be able to blame it on his height and reach.