Boxing: Richard Commey vs. Teofimo Lopez preview and pick
Teofimo Lopez's mouth got him here. Now his fists are going to have to get him out, as the prodigious lightweight will face the surging and dangerous Richard Commey for the IBF title. Lopez and Commey are featured in a high-stakes clash Saturday at Madison Square Garden, and BetAmerica has you covered for the big fight.
Richard Commey (29-2) vs. Teofimo Lopez (14-0)
|Richard Commey||Teofimo Lopez|
Lopez has done a masterful job in marketing himself, and has essentially willed his way to a world-title shot under the guise that he is doggedly pursuing lightweight kingpin Vasyl Lomachenko. Lopez is taking a major step up in competition against the battle-tested and extremely overlooked Richard Commey, and Lopez's recent performances give reason for pause.
Commey will be Lopez's toughest testCommey is the strongest, most experienced fighter Lopez has faced. Commey has knocked out all but three opponents in his 29 wins and has been a top 10 lightweight for quite some time. His most recent performance, a horrifying beating of the durable Ray Beltran, was the best showing of his career and against a veteran opponent. His two losses from 2016, against Robert Easter and Denis Shafikov, could have easily gone his way, and he has improved considerably since the slump.
Can Lopez rise to the occasion?Lopez didn't look too good after an uneven showing against the unheralded Masayoshi Nakatani, but if there is any time for Lopez to rise to the occasion and live up to the potential he's shown, it is now. There is a lot to like with Lopez. He's a well-schooled and gifted fighter with fluid movement and hand speed, but his defensive lapses are not going to get him far against a power puncher like Commey, who is coming in as a reigning and defending champion with a chip on his shoulder.
There will have to be a massive amount of evolution between Lopez's last fight and now, and while betting odds have Lopez listed as the favorite, he's going to be in a tough fight from bell to bell. Lopez should have his moments, fight tough and show tremendous heart, but he is sure to be tested severely when Commey does land punches.
Lopez will have to fight his way to legitimacy against a champion performing at his best. The call here is that Lopez will banks the early rounds with his activity. Commey will look to force a big punch, but Lopez will hold on and survive a late-round charge to secure a decision and a lightweight title.