The young champion took the old veteran to school. Richard "RC" Commey made the first defense of his IBF world lightweight title, knocking down former world champion Ray Beltran four times en route to an eighth-round knockout in front of 2,795 fans at Pechanga Resort Casino.
"Beltran showed why he was a champion. He's a great fighter who showed it against me tonight," Commey said. "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."
It was all Commey (29-2, 26 KOs) from the opening bell, as the native of Accra, Ghana, knocked Beltran (36-9-1, 22 KOs) down a pair of times in the opening stanza and had him pinned against the ropes when the bell sounded to end the round.
Beltran had his moments in the fight and even appeared to hurt Commey on a few occasions, but Commey proved to be resilient and finished Beltran off with a furious combination. Beltran rose to his feet, but the referee waved the fight off.
"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," Beltran said.
As long as Lopez win his next fight, Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum says a fight with Commey will without question go down.
“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,” Arum said.