Roach: Beltran Must Be Smart, Can't Stay In Pocket With Commey

By Keith Idec

Don’t stand and trade with Richard Commey.

That’s the advice veteran trainer Freddie Roach hammered home while working with Ray Beltran during his recently completed training camp. The 38-year-old Beltran’s legs aren’t his strong suit, but Roach realizes that the former WBO lightweight champion must take an intelligent approach to facing the hard-hitting Ghanaian if he is to have a chance to pull off an upset in their 12-round, 135-pound title fight Friday night.

“Commey is a very strong guy,” Roach told “We have to be the smarter guy in that fight and we have to really, really out-box him. You can’t stay in the pocket too long with him because if you hit him, he will hit you back. I’ve seen that. The thing is, we’re working on combinations and getting out, and just using good footwork and good speed.”

The 32-year-old Commey (28-2, 25 KOs), who holds the IBF lightweight title, will opposes Phoenix’s Beltran (36-8-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC) in the main event of an ESPN broadcast Friday night from Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).

ray-beltran (4)_1

Commey demolished Russia’s Isa Chaniev in his last fight to win the IBF 135-pound championship Mikey Garcia gave up when he decided to move up two weight classes to challenge IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr. Commey knocked down Chaniev (13-2, 6 KOs) three times before their fight was stopped in the second round February 2 in Frisco, Texas.

His easy victory over Chaniev was supposed to lead Commey into a lightweight title unification fight versus Vasiliy Lomachenko. Commey suffered an injury to his right hand while beating Chaniev, however, and wasn’t available to battle Lomachenko on April 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Ukraine’s Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) instead made a mandatory defense of his WBA 135-pound crown against Anthony Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs), whom Lomachenko knocked out in the fourth round.

Odds-makers have installed Commey as a 7-1 favorite to beat Beltran, who lost a unanimous decision to Puerto Rico’s Jose Pedraza (26-2, 13 KOs) in his last title fight.

“It’s a tough fight,” Roach said, “but the thing is, [Beltran] fired everyone else and I trained him for this fight. So, he’s looking really good. Me and him have always gotten along really well and so forth. But we haven’t worked together closely, like we did for this one. So, it was just me and him the whole way.”

Beltran hired Roach as his head trainer after defeating previously unbeaten Japanese contender Hiroki Okada (19-1, 13 KOs) by ninth-round knockout in his last bout, February 10 in Fresno, California.

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

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by sammybee on 06-28-2019

Commey will find a way to win.

Comment by IceTrayDaGang on 06-28-2019

beltran is roach #1 sparring guy to get for manny lol. this dude has been sparring manny for years up until recently.

Top Headlines
Porter: There Will Be a Moment When Spence Realizes He's Lost! Dirrell: Benavidez is Not What Everyone Makes Him Out To Be! Stevenson's Lawyer: Gonzalez's VADA Story 'Flat-Out Lie' Joshua Vows To "Rise To The Occasion" in Andy Ruiz Rematch Dulorme: Me & Mikey Garcia Would Be A Great Fight Angulo: Al Haymon Has Given Me Far More Than I've Given Back Porter Talks Spence, Cleveland Browns During Fox NFL Segment Michel Rivera: I Want To Be The Floyd Mayweather Of My Time Diaz To Tevin Farmer: Let's Go in December, I'm Calling You Out! Quillin: We're Going To Sit Down With Team, Decide What's Next Hearn: Miller Has A Big Heart, But You Can't Ignore What Happened Kovalev: Canelo Fight Will Be Interesting – Believe Me! Angulo: Now With Abel Sanchez, I'm Back To The Old 'Perro' Nathan Gorman Reflects on His TKO Defeat To Daniel Dubois Alfredo Angulo vs. Peter Quillin - CompuBox Punch Stats News: Lerena Stops Seferi, Theophane is Back, Szpilka Returns Tyrone James, Junior Almonte Wins Bouts in Huntington Kovalev: Canelo Will Be Comfortable at 175 - His Natural Weight De La Hoya on Having Issues With Canelo: They Are Only Rumors Joseph Diaz Wins Tough Majority Decision Over Jesus Cuadro Alfredo Angulo Shocks Peter Quillin in Unexpected Fire Fight Peter Quillin vs. Alfredo Angulo - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Chris Colbert Scores Brutal One-Punch KO of Miguel Beltran Thomas Dulorme Drops, Decisions Terrel Williams Over Ten Quillin-Angulo LIVE Results: Jesus Ramos Crushes Rickey Edwards Canelo's Coach: Kovalev Can End The Fight With One Punch UFC Prez: F***ing Crazy To Set Canelo-Kovalev on Day of UFC 244 Khan: I'm Speaking To Hearn About Facing Kell Brook in 2020 World Amateur Championship: Gold Medal Round Results Peter Quillin Corrects His Life, Vows Showcase Against Angulo Petr Petrov Continues His Streak of Knockout Wins Joseph Diaz: Now That I'm At 130, I Feel Like I'm Fully Developed Frank Warren Reflects on Fury's Cut, Tough Win Over Wallin Gonzalez: Stevenson's Not Champ; Why Fight In His Hometown? Canelo: I've Done What I Had To Do Against Golovkin De La Hoya: Arum Might Keep Crawford From Making HOF! Daily Bread Mailbag: Canelo-Kovalev, Fury-Wallin, PEDs, More Frank Warren on Tete-Casimero, Daniel Dubois, Edwards, More Mattice: I Wanted To Stop Dutchover, But Not Like That Andy Ruiz: After Joshua, I Want Wilder or Fury Unification
Latest Forum Threads