Richard Commey (left) and Jackson Marinez trade punches. Photograph by Mikey Williams/Prime Rank Inc through Getty Pictures
Former light-weight titleholder Richard Commey will make his junior welterweight debut in opposition to former two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza on the Onerous Rock Resort & On line casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday.
Commey, who briefly held the IBF light-weight title in 2019 earlier than being dethroned by Teofimo Lopez, is coming off a factors defeat to Vasiliy Lomachenko and welcomes the contemporary begin .
“I’m actually wanting ahead to this struggle, it’s a possibility for one in every of us to make an enormous assertion within the 140-pound division,” Commey (30-4, 27 knockouts) advised The Ring.
“It’s a deep division, however so was light-weight. That doesn’t fear me. If you wish to be the perfect, it’s important to problem the perfect. I’ve been competing at light-weight all my profession – over 11 years now. My crew and I really feel that is the proper time to step up in weight and attempt to turn out to be a two-weight world champion.”
The 35-year-old Ghanaian, who has skilled diligently underneath the watchful eye of Andre Rozier and Gary Stark in New Jersey, is absolutely conscious of what his Puerto Rican opponent brings to the desk.
“I’ve the upmost respect for Pedraza, not solely as a fighter however as a human being,” mentioned Commey. “He conducts himself very nicely and I’ve by no means seen or heard him being disrespectful to anybody.
“I look ahead to sharing the ring with him. He’s an excellent technician and has a really excessive boxing IQ, so I must carry my ‘A’ sport to be victorious. I do imagine we’ll give the followers a deal with and I can’t wait.”
Lengthy-term supervisor Michael Amoo-Bediako is happy in regards to the subsequent chapter in his fighter’s profession.
“I felt that he achieved every little thing he may at light-weight,” mentioned Amoo-Bediako. “[He was] a world champion and headlined reveals on the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and Madison Sq. Backyard.
“[We felt] now was the proper time to maneuver up and attempt to turn out to be two-weight world champion. I understand how a lot it meant to Richard being a world champion – not simply him, however for his individuals again dwelling in Ghana. He needs to try this once more to make them proud.”
Pedraza represented Puerto Rico on the 2008 Olympics earlier than claiming silver on the 2009 World Championships. He turned skilled in 2011 and received the vacant IBF junior light-weight title in opposition to Andrey Klimov (UD 12). “The Sniper” made two defenses earlier than shedding to Gervonta Davis (TKO 7).
That prompted a transfer as much as light-weight, the place he bested Ray Beltran (UD 12) to say the WBO title. He rapidly tried to unify with WBA counterpart Vasiliy Lomachenko, however dropped a 12-round unanimous determination. The now 33-year-old moved as much as 140 kilos the place he was aggressive in factors losses to Jose Zepeda (UD 10) and Jose Ramirez (UD 12).
Pedraza-Commey, plus full supporting undercard, might be broadcast on ESPN, starting at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT.
Questions and/or feedback will be despatched to Anson at [email protected] and you’ll observe him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright