Richard Commey made his second crack at the vacant IBF lightweight title count, claiming his first world title with a second round stoppage of Isa Chaniev.
Commey (28-2, 25 KO) tore through Chaniev (13-2, 6 KO), dropping him late in the first round on a monster right hand. As Commey went to end things before the bell could sound to end the frame, he tripped, which may have been all that saved Chaniev at that point.
But the Ghanaian wasted no time in the second, picking up right where he’d left off. He put Chaniev down with a left hook early in the round, and with Chaniev clearly unsteady as the fight restarted, he charged in and finished things with a final flurry, dropping the Russian for a third time, at which point referee Laurence Cole stopped the bout at 39 seconds of the second round, showing his standard questionable judgment letting it even go that far.
It’s a huge win for Commey, obviously, and fully cements him as one of the top lightweights in the sport today. The winner of this fight reported before the fight to be likely to face WBA and WBO titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko in a unification bout in April, and that still seems to be the plan.
“It means everything for my career. I want to accomplish my dreams,” Commey said. “I won because of the hard work and I listened to my corner. I did everything they asked me to do. I’m very happy I won this world title and that I am a world champion.”
Issue with Right Hand
“When I hit him in the first round, I hurt my right knuckle. I’m going to have to get it looked at and see what happens,” Commey said. “I don’t think it’s a big problem. I need to get it checked out.”
“This guy is very, very competitive with Lomachenko. He hits like a mule, he’s a big guy,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said. “Loma will embrace this kind of challenge because it is a challenging kind of fight. This guy can really hurt you, a big puncher. Loma is going to have his hands full, but that’s what he wants.”
Commey landed 33 of 105 (31%) of his total punches, and 29 of 69 (42%) of his power shots as he overpowered Chaniev in short order. Chaniev landed 23 of 81 (28%) total punches and 19 of 64 (30%) of his power shots.