IBF lightweight champ Commey TKOs Beltran

By David Robinett at ringside
Photos: Sumio Yamada

IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KOs) successfully defended his title with a hard-fought eighth round stoppage of former WBO lightweight champion Ray Beltran (36-9-1, 22 KOs) in the main event at Pechanga Resort Casino, Temecula, California. Although Commey knocked Beltran down four times in the fight, Beltran came back strong every time, even protesting after the final knockdown when referee Edward Hernandez, Sr. waved it off.
Commey Beltran01
The 38-year old Beltran, a twenty-year veteran who had only lost four times in the last ten years, to fighters with a combined record of 87-1, looked old in round one, with Commey dropping him the first time with a left hook to the chin, followed by a right hook to the temple. Commey knocked Beltran down a second time in the opening stanza with two left hands, followed by a right hook that left Beltran sitting on the middle rope and prompting the referee to rule the ropes were holding him up. However, when Commey went in for the finisher after action resumed, Beltran showed tremendous heart in fighting him off and making it to the bell. Good two-way action in the ensuing rounds, although Commey remained in control.

Beltran went down for a third time in round five, when a Commey flurry along the ropes caused Beltran to stumble forward onto his knees, but again, Beltran fired back effectively when Commey tried to close the show. Beltran came back strong in round six with a renewed effort to Commey’s body as the two men fought evenly for the next two rounds. However, in round eight, a clean left hook dropped Beltran hard onto his back. Beltran again beat the count and was seemingly ready to continue, but the referee had seen enough, waving off the fight 54 seconds into the eighth round.

Win or lose, Commey would have retained the belt since Beltran failed to make weight.

Commey stated, “Beltran showed why he he was a champion. He’s a great fighter who showed it against me tonight. I was happy to get the job done and defend my title for the first time. It looks like Teofimo Lopez is next, but he has a job to do first. That would be a great fight.”

Beltran commented, “He caught me with a good shot in the eighth round, and the referee decided to stop the fight. Now I am going to get together with my team and figure out what’s next. If I fight on, I will move up to 140 pounds.”

Promoter Bob Arum said, “That was a great performance by Commey, who showed why he is a great champion. Beltran showed courage and resiliency. Teofimo Lopez has a job to do against Nakatani on July 19, and if he takes care of business, Teofimo will challenge Commey for the title in what will be a tremendous fight.”

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  • Beltran was vulnerable to Commey’s right hand throughout the fight. He was staggered numerous times in the fight and looked to be on unsteady legs in several of the rounds. He almost didn’t get out of the first round after suffering two knockdowns. He did try to slow down Commey by landing some body and head shots but just didn’t land enough punches to win the rounds. Although he did stun Commey on a couple of occasions, Commey never looked like he was hurt enough to go down.

    It was a good fight but Commey had the upper hand throughout the fight and Beltran just didn’t seem to have the energy for a sustained attack. He languished on the ropes way too much and got pummeled when he did so. A left hook on a weakened Beltran knocked him down for the final time and the ref stopped the fight after examining Beltran.

    I think it’s time Ray seriously considered retiring from the sport. He’s probably got a couple of years left if he continues fighting, but he’ll be more of a gatekeeper than a championship contender. He’s got a great family and doesn’t need to take any more unnecessary punishment.

  • These boxers never retire in a good amount of time. Top boxers, journeymen, etc. And Pacquiao is still a top player in boxing at 40. Whatever these boxers are going to do, they usually should know how good they are by age 30. And then by age 32, they should have raked in some cash from age 30 to 32, and retire sometime between there. Some guys go to 33. (I think boxing was trying to tell Pacquiao something after the first fight with Bradley, like, you probably won the fight, but we gave you a loss so you know it’s time to go and retire). You’ve got Wilder at heavyweight at almost 34, but he can make serious cash from 34 until someone defeats him. If it wasn’t for that round 12 against Fury, he wouldn’t be a champion now and people may say he should have retired. King Kong Ortiz at 40 will probably have to retire after he fights Wilder a 2nd time. As for Beltran, he’s got a story and made it to America off of boxing, but he should have stayed up at 140 at this stage, he got drained just to come in at 136.4 for this fight.

  • Time to hang up the gloves Ray. He was looking worn a few fights ago.

  • Beltran got caught early and never fully recovered as the four knockdowns point to. However, he came back hard every time and deserves major Props.
    Let’s also give props to RC whom is obviously super underrated and underexposed in the US. I see from pics that he has some of Quartey’s team behind him too. That can’t hurt.

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