Former world lightweight title challenger Richard Commey says he’s ready for what’s expected to be a stiff test when he meets undefeated Alejandro Luna in a 12-round IBF Lightweight Title Eliminator. The bout will kick off the SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME on Saturday, March 10, from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas.
Commey is after a rematch with IBF world champion Robert Easter Jr., who he fought to a close-split decision loss when the two fought for that vacant title back in 2016.
“I think this is a good fight where neither of us are the favorite,” said Commey. “After losing two close decisions there is natural pressure to go for the knockout. But I believe that the judges will be fair and reward me if it goes the distance so I can earn another shot at the title. This is my first fight with Andre Rozier and I’m inspired working in his gym with guys like Daniel Jacobs and Sadam Ali. I’m 100 percent focused on clearly beating Luna and earning my rematch with Robert Easter Jr.”
Luna (22-0, 15 KO’s) and Commey (25-2, 22 KO’s) enter this fight ranked 11th and 3rd respectively by the IBF. The 26-year-old Luna, fighting out of Bellflower, Ca., most recently dominated Andrey Klimov on his way to a unanimous decision last April and faces his toughest competition to date on March 10. Commey rebounded from the narrow defeat to Easter and a subsequent close loss to Denis Shafikov with a unanimous decision victory last March in his native Ghana.
“Commey’s a tough competitor whose losses were very close, disputable fights that could have gone either way, so I’ll go in being smart, using my jab and sticking to our game plan,” said Luna. “We’re both boxer-punchers who like to mix it up, throw bombs and brawl if we have to. There’s going to be a lot of action and we might steal the show. We’ll give the fans their money’s worth, either way.”
The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by a showdown between three-division world champion Mikey Garcia and unbeaten IBF 140-pound champion Sergey Lipinets and also features two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy taking on Kiryl Relikh in a rematch of their thrilling fight last May, this time for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title.
Undefeated 140-pound contender and San Antonio-native Mario Barrios will face Eudy Bernardo in a 10-round bout in the SHO EXTREME headliner.
Barrios (20-0 12 KO’s), who is trained by Virgil Hunter, returns for his first professional bout in San Antonio since he scored a 2015 knockout over Manuel Vides at AT&T Center in 2015. The 22-year-old has won three straight fights by stoppage since moving up to the 140-pound division last year.
“I haven’t been back home in a while, and I’m looking forward to putting on a tremendous performance in front of my family and hometown fans,” Barrios said. “If the knockout comes, early or late, I’ll take it. If not, we’re going in there to do what we do best, and that’s win. I’m trying to show that I’m on the level where I can get one of those titles either later this year or early next year.”
Fighting out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Bernardo (23-2, 17 KO’s) enters this fight having scored knockout victories in his last two contests. The 31-year-old, who appeared on ShoBox: The New Generation in April 2016, has fought professionally since 2009 and was unbeaten in his first 21 pro fights.
“I hope that Barrios isn’t underestimating me, because I am full of confidence and positive that I’m going to win,” said Bernardo. “I have a great plan that I’m going to use to catch him by surprise. I don’t care if it’s by knockout or decision, I will win.”
Also in undercard action at Freeman Coliseum, unbeaten prospect Brandon Figueroa takes on Mexico’s Jonathan Aguilar in an eight-round super bantamweight bout that, time permitting, will round out the SHO EXTREME telecast.
Figueroa (14-0, 9 KO’s), the younger brother of former lightweight champion Omar Figueroa, will make his 2018 debut against the 24-year-old Aguilar (20-7, 17 KO’s), after picking up four wins in 2017.
“I’m happy to be on such a big card. San Antonio is like my second home,” said Figueroa, who is 5-0 with four knockouts in San Antonio. “I’m getting a lot of exposure fighting on this world class event that is headlined by Mikey Garcia. It’s the kind of step-up I need. Little by little I’m becoming well-known, not only in the United States, but by people from around the world.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions in association with Leija-Battah Promotions, are priced at $250, $150, $75, $50 and $20 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000 or 210 556-7390.