Richard Commey’s lightweight world title wasn’t in danger of switching hands by facing Raymundo Beltran, but Commey was able to provide viewers with an impressive performance.
In the main event of a Top Rank on ESPN card from Temecula, California, Commey stopped Beltran early in the eighth round and left the ring as the IBF champion. This was Commey’s fifth consecutive win since two straight split decision loss in 2016.
Commey got off to a fast start by scoring not one, but two knockdowns in the first round. The first knockdown came from a right hand by Commey and the second occurred seconds after Beltran got back up. Commey unleashed a flurry of punches that hurt Beltran and Beltran used the ropes to hang on, which was counted as a technical knockdown. At the end of the round, however, Beltran was able to get back in the fight by landing a pair of strong punches that briefly stunned Commey.
The IBF champion returned to being dominant in the fourth round when he started to utilize the jab more, leading to him staggering Beltran with a series of rights hands. Beltran was able to stay vertical, but didn’t do much to answer back for the remainder of the fight. Commey did drop Beltran once more in the fifth round and although the former lightweight champion was in serious trouble for a moment, he was able to disrupt Commey’s momentum late in the round, surviving for another round.
Beltran suffered a cut over his left eye due to a clash of heads in the middle rounds and Commey was able to set himself up for another big punch in the eighth. Less than a minute into the eighth round, Commey landed a big left hook that dropped Beltran a fourth time in the fight. But when Beltran got back up, the referee still believed he should not continue and thus the bout was stopped.
Although Commey was the IBF lightweight champion heading into the fight, he was not in danger of losing his title due to Beltran missing weight by nearly two pounds the day before. Now Commey can focus on his next title defense, which is likely going to be the winner of an upcoming title eliminator between Teofimo Lopez and Masayoshi Nakatani. That fight will take place on July 19 on an ESPN+ card from Maryland.
In the opening fight of the ESPN telecast, unbeaten junior middleweight contender Carlos Adames continues his climb up the rankings with a unanimous decision win over Patrick Day. Thanks to some strong punching in the second half of the fight by Adames, he retained the NABF and NABO junior middleweight titles with scores of 97-93, 97-93 and 98-91.