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DiBella: Teofimo's A Great Prospect, But Not Ready For Commey

NEW YORK – Richard Commey’s promoter respects Teofimo Lopez.

Lou DiBella still can’t see the brash, unbeaten lightweight winning the IBF 135-pound crown from his fighter Saturday night. DiBella expects experience against championship-caliber opponents to serve Commey well when they square off in a 12-round encounter ESPN will televise as part of a tripleheader from Madison Square Garden (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

“It’s a sensational matchup of styles,” DiBella told prior to a press conference Wednesday at The Garden. “It’s gonna be a good fight. Both of these guys engage. Both of them have power. I think Teofimo is a great prospect. I don’t think he’s ready for a man like this yet. I know this is a real fight, but I don’t think he’s ready for Richard.”

lopez-commey (3)

Japan’s Masayoshi Nakatani snapped Lopez’s five-fight knockout streak in Lopez’s last appearance. All three judges scored that fight for Lopez by wide distances (119-109, 118-110, 118-110), but detractors doubt Lopez for how he performed against Nakatani (18-1, 12 KOs) in that July 20 bout at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

“I thought it wasn’t a great performance,” DiBella said. “And I thought it was largely inexperience against a better boxer, a slicker guy. He still won the fight, even though it was close.”

Commey-Lopez seemingly should end inside the distance.

Ghana’s Commey, 32, has knocked out 84 percent of his pro opponents (29-2, 26 KOs). Brooklyn’s Lopez, 22, has won 79 percent of his pro bouts by knockout (14-0, 11 KOs).

“He hasn’t been in with a puncher,” DiBella said of Lopez. “Your chin is not really tested until you’ve been hit on the chin by a real puncher. The thing about this fight is both sides can punch. Richard’s a puncher and Teofimo’s a puncher. It can’t be a bad fight. It’ll be a fun fight.”

The winner likely will earn a crack at Vasiliy Lomachenko in his following fight. Ukraine’s Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs), who’ll watch from a ringside seat Saturday night, owns the WBA and WBO lightweight titles and is the WBC’s franchise champion at 135 pounds.

Most sports books list Lopez as slightly more than a 2-1 favorite over Commey, despite that the defending champion has faced a higher level of opposition.

“Experience is a big advantage for Richard,” DiBella said. “But both of these men have fought in front of big crowds before. I don’t think it’s gonna be the moment that’s gonna overwhelm Teofimo. I think if he gets overwhelmed, he’ll get overwhelmed by Richard Commey. I know Teofimo since he was an amateur. And I was probably, and he will tell you, the first promoter to pay attention to him. I think his time will come, just not yet.”

Commey-Lopez will immediately precede ESPN’s main event Saturday night. In that 12-round, 147-pound championship match, Terence Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, will defend his WBO welterweight title against Lithuania’s Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KOs), Crawford’s mandatory challenger.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by jackblack008 on 12-15-2019

Yep. Completely agree. Comey is a beast. would KO Lopez in two Rounds.

Comment by Tatabanya on 12-15-2019

Well, we finally know that Commey can punch, but he cannot take a punch.

Comment by MASTER OF you on 12-15-2019

louuuuuuuu!!! you were way off the mark! no guarantee that had comey won instead of getting KTFO by lopez he would have fought loma for all the belts. lou dibella and his fighter comey would have probably run back to…

Comment by Curtis Harper on 12-15-2019

DiBella: Teofimo's A Great Prospect, But Not Ready For Commey "The kid has dynamite in his hands," said Lou DiBella, Commey's promoter. "[B]I knew that was possible[/B]. Richard got caught with dynamite. He's a very athletic puncher. His offense is…

Comment by Curtis Harper on 12-14-2019

Any post fight comments from DiBella :lol1: ???

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