Richard Commey has successfully defended his IBF Lightweight title, with an 8th round TKO win over Ray Beltran in Tamecula, California.
Win, lose, or draw, Richard Commey was going to walk out of the ring Friday night retaining his IBF lightweight title.
Commey still wanted to send a message to Teofimo Lopez, who was sitting ringside, of what might happen when the two fighters square off.
Commey dropped Ray Beltran four times before the fight was stopped in round eight Friday night before a boisterous crowd of 2,795 inside the Pechanga Resort and Casino.
With the win, Commey improves to 29-2 (26 knockouts).
Beltran lost out on a chance at the IBF title at Thursday’s weigh-in when he did not make weight, coming in at 136.8 pounds. Beltran was given two hours to lose the weight, but did not come close to dropping down to 135 pounds.
A deal was struck between Lou DiBella and Bob Arum, who promotes Beltran, ensuring Beltran would not rehydrate more than 10 pounds from the weigh-in, or 146.8 pounds. DiBella threatened to cancel the fight if Beltran was over, but Beltran did make weight Friday morning.
Commey, who is co-promoted by Lou DiBella and Top Rank, was making the first defence of the IBF title he won in his last bout on February 2, a second round knockout over Isa Chaniev of Russia. Beltran last fought on February 10, knocking out junior welterweight Hiroki Okada of Japan.
With the Beltran fight behind him, Commey will now focus on the winner between Teofimo Lopez and Japan’s Masayoshi Nakatani, which will take place on July 19 at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
“Beltran showed why he was a champion,” said Commey, who has now won his last five bouts.
Beltran (36-9-1 1 ND, 22 KOs), who is originally from Mexico and now resides in the Phoenix suburb of Avondale, was diplomatic in defeat.
“He caught me with a good shot in the ninth round, and the referee decided to stop the fight,” said Beltran.