Richard Commey promoter Lou DiBella of DiBella Promotions had plenty to say regarding a potential Commey bout versus Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Commey, the IBF world lightweight champion, would like to defend his title before unifying against Lomachenko, who holds the WBO and WBA titles, at the end of the year.
“People who think that he’s trying to avoid Lomachenko are dead wrong,” DiBella told Boxingtalk.com. “He’s not trying to avoid Lomachenko, he’s planning to beat Lomachenko, and he wants to make sure he’s at his best when the fight takes place.”
Commey won the title last February, stopping Russia’s Isa Chaniev in two rounds. The bout was televised on ESPN as part of a card promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. Commey suffered a hand injury in that bout, which postponed the proposed unification versus Lomachenko, originally scheduled to occur in April.
“We made the deal with Top Rank specifically to fight Lomachenko, so people who say anything differently have no idea what they’re talking about,” said DiBella. “The kid suffered a pretty serious hand injury in his last fight and now he’s been cleared to use the hand, but people have to respect the fact that he just won the world title, he’s the only world champion from Ghana and it’s not outrageous for the guy to want an optional to test it out before fighting Lomachenko. He believes he’s winning the fight and he deserves the best chance to do so.”
Commey has options. One-time nemesis Robert Easter Jr. will face Rances Barthelemy on April 27 for the WBA regular world lightweight belt. Easter defeated Commey by heated split decision in September 2016 to win the vacant IBF strap. The bout was widely considered one of the year’s best.
Some have suggested Commey take on rising undefeated contender Teofimo Lopez, but DiBella shot that down as a step backward.
“No. That would be stupid,” he stated.