NEW YORK – Lou DiBella has always touted Richard Commey’s courage.
Even Commey’s promoter was surprised, though, that the former IBF lightweight champion made it through a treacherous seventh round Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Vasiliy Lomachenko knocked Commey to the canvas with a straight left hand in that round and went all out to knock out the determined underdog.
Commey went down barely a minute into the seventh round. Lomachenko tried his best to finish off the gutsy Ghanian contender, but Commey made it to the end of the seventh round, regained his composure and turned the remainder of their 12-round lightweight fight into a competitive contest.
Ukraine’s Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) won comfortably on all three scorecards, yet Commey redeemed himself against the skillful southpaw two years after then-unbeaten Teofimo Lopez stopped him in the second round of their December 2019 fight for the IBF belt in that very same ring at Madison Square Garden.
“I don’t know how he fought through that in the seventh round,” DiBella told BoxingScene.com. “And I give his corner credit for knowing their fighter well, because he actually had a couple of his best rounds after that. I thought he was sort of out of it in that round, but the way he came back and fought eight through 12, it was a one-sided fight, but the kind of fight you’ll remember.
“And the effort Richie gave, I’m so proud of him, man, because that was the effort of a real warrior. And Loma fought like the genius he is. He’s a tremendously skilled craftsman, technician. His footwork is remarkable. It was an excellent performance. And Loma took some real bombs [Saturday night]. It was a very, very good one-sided fight.”
Judges Eric Marlinski (119-108), Tom Schreck (119-108) and Tony Paolillo (117-110) scored 10, 10 and nine rounds, respectively, for Lomachenko. Commey (30-4, 27 KOs) won while losing, however, in that the 34-year-old veteran displayed tremendous toughness against an elite-level opponent and landed more flush punches on the three-division champion than most of his previous conquests.
Lomachenko landed a short, straight left hand that knocked Commey flat on his back with 1:58 to go in the seventh round. A stunned Commey made it to his feet before referee Steve Willis counted to 10.
Commey still didn’t have his legs under him, which led Lomachenko to turn toward Commey’s trainers, Andre Rozier and Gary Stark, and request that they stop the fight. They ignored Lomachenko’s concerns, which enabled Commey to come back to test Lomachenko after withstanding Lomachenko’s onslaught for the remainder of the seventh round.
“It was a really fun fight,” DiBella said. “It was a good, decisive win [for Lomachenko], but it was a tremendous show of heart and courage and guts and effort, man. I mean, Commey never stopped throwing, never stopped coming. I’m so impressed by what he did in a very difficult loss. You know, I thought he showed himself to be the warrior that we all know he is.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.