By Shaun Brown
“It’s a big fight and it’s for the Commonwealth title so let’s go for it.”
Gary Buckland 28-4 (9 KOs) likes to test himself. His record doesn’t lie. Six of his last seven fights have either been contested for a British title or fought against a former world champion (twice). He’s won four, lost two, and been involved in a fight of the year contender (against Gavin Rees in Feb 2014) and on the receiving end of a knockout of the year contender (against Stephen Smith in Aug 2013).
On Saturday night at the iconic York Hall in London, Buckland will once again strap on his boots and gloves and meet another challenge head on. But this one is of the unknown variety. Ghana’s Richard Commey 17-0 (17 KOs) is the threat as the pair meet in a potential doozy for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title on a Goodwin Promotions bill which will be broadcast live and free on www.boxingevolution.tv .
Buckland told Boxing Scene earlier this week that he hasn’t bothered to research the big hitting Ghanaian who has made a reputation for himself thanks to his KO record.
“I didn’t know that much about him actually beforehand, I had never heard of him. Once I got the fight I looked him up, saw he boxed Paul Truscott and he beat Paul Truscott who I beat as well and that’s all I know really. I looked up his record, he’s boxed a bunch of nobodies from Ghana but I’ll be a test for him.
“I’ve seen the eight rounds he did with Truscott and that’s all I need to see of him. I boxed Paul Truscott and did the full 12 rounds. When he boxed him it was going 60-40 in his favour when he stopped him with a body shot. I don’t think it should’ve been stopped then but it did but that’s all I need to see of him, that’s all I’d need to see of any of my opponents.”
After going 24 gruelling rounds in the space of three months against countryman, Gavin Rees, you could have forgiven Buckland for choosing an easier route to get his 29th career win.
“Plenty of people have said to me ‘Why don’t you give yourself an easy fight? You’re due an easy fight’. But there’s no easy fights is there? If I could get them I would. I like to be in these tough fights, I like challenges. This Richard Commey’s had 17 and stopped 17 and that’s the kind of challenge I like.”
‘Dynamo’ represents the first real challenge for Commey. The latter is unproven at this kind of level and didn’t face anyone with a winning record until his 13th fight against Scotland’s Kris Hughes in 2012. On paper, the former British super featherweight champion and winner of a 2010 edition of Prizefighter is a step up in class for the African. Buckand, though, regards this as his biggest fight to date and explained why.
“Every fight’s a big fight. Every fight I’ve had in my life the next fight has been the biggest fight. So it’s the biggest fight of my career and when I win the Commonwealth title I can go on and win the next one.”
And that next one could be at 135lbs or back down at 130lbs. Buckland knows he won’t be back boxing in Wales for a while, with the country’s current headline act Lee Selby fighting in London on Oct 11, and will have to go on the road to face either current British super featherweight champion, Gary Sykes or the winner of Terry Flanagan and Martin Gethin who contest the vacant British lightweight title on Jul 26.
“If it wasn’t for the option of super feather I’d stay at lightweight because that’s where the big fights are. It’s a bigger division. I do want to go back down and challenge for the British super featherweight title again and try and win it outright. I’ll just wait and see what the options are.”
Shaun Brown is the UK Editor at Boxing Scene and a contributor to Boxing Monthly. He can be contacted at email@example.com with any news, views or stories you may have.