It’s on! Ghana’s Richard Commey will battle for the vacant IBF world lightweight title when he meets Russia’s Isa Chaniev on February 2nd at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas.
The bout will be televised by sports network giant ESPN as a co-feature to the main event, an anticipated rematch between WBO world light heavyweight champion Eleider Alvarez versus former world champion Sergey Kovalev. Alvarez upset Kovalev last August, knocking the incumbent down three times en route to a seventh-round KO win.
Fireworks will be expected again on this night. For Commey, 27-2 (24 KOs), the wait is finally over. The 31-year-old slugger became the IBF mandatory challenger in March, when he stopped previously undefeated Mexican American Alejandro Luna in six rounds.
Commey was to face the winner of the unification bout between then-IBF titlist Robert Easter Jr. and WBC beltholder Mikey Garcia. Garcia won via unanimous decision. Commey kept busy with a second-round destruction of Yardley Cruz in August. But after months of deliberation, Garcia opted to vacate the IBF belt. On March 16, 2019, he moves up to welterweight to challenge IBF 147lb. world champion Errol Spence Jr.
Commey will face the 26-year-old Chaniev, 13-1 (6 KOs), who is the IBF’s third-ranked contender. Last May, Chaniev got off the canvas to win a 12-round unanimous decision over the dangerous Ismael Barroso.
He’ll have his hands full against Commey, who is both battle-tested and rejuvenated. This will be the Ghanaian’s second attempt at a world title. In September 2016, he lost a split decision to the aforementioned Easter in a war that could have gone either way.
In August 2017, he relocated from Ghana to New York and began working with Brooklyn-based trainer Andre Rozier. Rozier also trains current IBF world middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs. The two have been in the gym waiting patiently for this date.
The bout will likely be co-promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and Lou DiBella’s DiBella Entertainment. DiBella also promotes Commey and is in the process of signing Chaniev.
Stay tuned to BoxingAfrica.com for more details.