The International Boxing Federation (IBF) released their April rankings, with several changes of note. Among them, Ghana’s Richard Commey is now their top-ranked lightweight contender, up two spots from the no. three position.
The move comes on the heels of Commey’s explosive sixth-round TKO over the previously-undefeated Alejandro Luna in March. Days after the win, the IBF sent a letter to Robert Easter Jr., their 135-pound world titleholder, to formally notify him of his obligation to fight Commey, 31, in what would be a rematch.
Despite Commey’s mandatory position, Easter is purportedly finalizing a unification bout versus WBC world lightweight titlist Mikey Garcia. The bout would occur on July 28, or in August, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
“It’ll be very disappointing for us if this unification does take place given how hard Richard has worked to get to that number one position,” said Michael Amoo-Bediako, Commey’s manager and managing director of Streetwise Management.
“Richard has been waiting patiently for this opportunity and will continue to do so,” he added. “Nevertheless, we’re ready for whatever challenge comes our way. For now, we’ll wait and see how everything pans out.”
IBF rules would require the winner of the proposed Garcia-Easter unification to take on Commey next. If they do not comply, Commey would then face the highest-ranked available contender for the vacated belt.
Easter won the vacant IBF title over Commey in September 2016, eking out a split decision victory in a hellacious give-and-take affair where he suffered a knockdown in the eighth. He has since defended that belt three times.
Commey has reeled off two wins in a row, including his finest performance to date against Luna. He is now based in New York and is also the WBC’s no. three-ranked lightweight contender.
Stay tuned to BoxingAfrica.com for further details on this situation.