“Being that the fight will be on my birthday, all I can say is that God works in mysterious ways,” said Ghana’s Richard Commey prior to his showdown versus Alejandro Luna. “Maybe he wants to present me with a special birthday gift.”
Ask and ye shall receive.
A rejuvenated Commey (26-2, 23 KOs) turned in the finest performance of his career, dropping the previously undefeated Luna twice in the sixth, forcing referee David Fields to halt the action at 1-54 of the stanza.
“It’s the greatest feeling to get the win on my 31st birthday,” a beaming Commey said afterward. “I’m looking forward to fighting for the 135lb. world title and becoming champion.”
The victory in this IBF world title eliminator sets Commey up for a rematch versus world champion Robert Easter Jr. The two first met for the vacant crown back in September 2016, with Easter eking out a split decision that could’ve gone either way.
Commey is a strong bet to exact revenge. Last summer, he relocated from Ghana to New York and is now trained by Andre Rozier and Gary Stark Sr. Rozier also trains former middleweight champion Danny Jacobs and current 154lb. world titlist Sadam Ali. Stark Sr. is the man behind undefeated light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne, who is fast closing in on a world title shot.
The improvements were noticeable. The predominantly pro-Mexico crowd at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas, applauded wildly for Luna during the ring entrances. They had little to cheer about after that. Commey got off to a strong start in the first, keeping Luna (22-1, 15 KOs) at the end of a snapping jab. A hard right in the second got the Mexican-American’s attention. Both of his eyes were already swelling.
Commey continued to work the jab in the third. Luna had his moments when he pinned Commey to the ropes and wailed away, to the chagrin of Rozier, who implored Commey to keep the fight in the center of the ring.
Both fighters stood and traded with success in the fourth. Luna’s ability to keep Commey against the ropes might have won him the round, but he was taking lots of punishment to the head and body.
Commey, on the other hand, looked stronger with each passing round. He controlled the fifth, boxing patiently behind the jab and unleashing heavy shots in close quarters. Luna was a swollen, spent force as the bell sounded.
Smelling blood, Commey began the sixth as if he was in a rush to celebrate his birthday. Two hard rights, followed by a crunching uppercut crumpled Luna to the canvas. He rose and intentionally spit out his mouthpiece, forcing referee Fields to deduct a point.
The break did Luna no good. Once action resumed, Commey stepped in with a one-two to the body and then another upstairs, setting up a beautiful right cross that floored Luna a second and final time.
“Robert Easter, I’m coming for you,” said a grinning Commey. “If you want to fight, I want to fight. Let’s do it.”
Easter didn’t sound too eager to step back in with Commey, alluding to a possible showdown versus Mikey Garcia. Either way, Commey is now in line to fight for a world title. Based on his performance tonight, it won’t be long before he possesses one.