By Keith Idec
Richard Commey moved closer Saturday night to getting the second shot at Robert Easter Jr. that he desperately wants.
The hard-hitting lightweight contender from Ghana knocked out Mexico’s Alejandro Luna in the sixth round of their IBF lightweight elimination match in San Antonio. Commey knocked down Luna twice in the sixth round, which prompted referee David Fields to stop their bout on the Sergey Lipinets-Mikey Garcia undercard at Freeman Coliseum.
The victory moved Commey closer to a rematch with Easter (21-0, 14 KOs), who conquered Commey (26-2, 23 KOs) by split decision to win the then-vacant IBF lightweight title 18 months ago in Reading, Pennsylvania. Mexico’s Luna lost for the first time in his seven-year pro career (22-1, 15 KOs).
Commey was ahead on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage (49-46, 49-46, 48-47).
The 31-year-old Commey has lost only split decisions to Easter and fellow lightweight contender Denis Shafikov (38-4-1, 20 KOs). He made sure his competitive fight against Luna didn’t go to the scorecards, though.
Commey cracked Luna with an overhand right that dropped him for the second time in the sixth round, with 1:10 left in it. With Luna laid out, flat on his back, Fields waved an end to the scheduled 12-round fight at 1:54 of the sixth.
Earlier in the sixth, an aggressive Commey connected with two overhand rights to Luna’s head, followed it with a right uppercut and dropped Luna with a left uppercut at the 2:03 mark of that round. Luna went down for the first time in his career from that vicious four-punch combination.
Commey pushed Luna to the canvas earlier in the sixth round. Fields threatened to take a point away from Commey because it marked the second straight round Commey shoved down to the canvas.
Fields did deduct a point from Luna following that first knockdown in the sixth because Fields felt Luna intentionally spit out his mouthpiece.
Despite repeated pleas from his co-trainer, Andre Rozier, Commey allowed Luna to move him to the ropes multiple times during the fifth round. Commey shoved Luna to the canvas in the fifth round and Fields correctly ruled it a push.
Luna trapped Commey against the ropes late in the fourth round and landed several power shots to Commey’s body and head.
Commey came forward to start the third round and temporarily trapped Luna in a neutral corner. Luna responded to his opponent’s pressure by swinging wildly and the action moved back to the center of the ring.
Commey connected with a straight right hand to Luna’s head that moved him backward with 35 seconds to go in the second round. He followed up by landing a right hand to Luna’s body.
Commey and Luna landed flush punches during a fierce exchange with just under a minute remaining in the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.