Although far from a done deal, IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey's first title defense could come against a former 135-pound titleholder.
According to a report on ESPN, Commey is "likely" to face Raymundo Beltran with the fight headlining a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card on June 28 at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California. This would be Commey's first fight since winning the title back in February.
Commey won the belt after it was vacated by Mikey Garcia in the aftermath of his win over Robert Easter Jr. back in 2018. Commey previously challenged for the title back in 2016, but was unsuccessful, losing a split decision to Easter. After losing a second consecutive fight to Denis Shafikov later that year, Commey won three straight before his title win over Isa Chaniev.
Originally, Commey was supposed to face unified WBA and WBO champion Vasiliy Lomachenko on April 12 in a three-belt unification, but Commey suffered an injury during the win over Chaniev and was unable to be ready in time to face Lomachenko. Since then, Lomachenko defended his titles against Anthony Crolla and was recently ordered to face Luke Campbell for the vacant WBC title which was also previously held by Garcia.
Beltran previously held the WBO lightweight title last year, but in his first title defense, he lost a unanimous decision to Jose Pedraza in Glendale, Arizona. Since then, Beltran moved up to junior welterweight, defeating Hiroki Okada to win the WBC Continental Americas and WBO Intercontinental titles in February.
Regardless of who Commey defends his title next, he will likely face the winner of the planned Teofimo Lopez vs. Masayoshi Nakatani fight, reportedly taking place on July 19. That fight has yet to be announced by Top Rank but it will be a title eliminator for Commey's world title.