With the 2021 boxing calendar activated, Ghana’s world title hopes rests on a few names, one of which is former IBF lightweight champion, Richard Commey for very obvious reasons.
He together with the likes of Isaac Dogboe, the former WBO champion at Super bantamweight, Joseph Agbeko the former IBF and IBO champion, former IBO lightweight champion, Emmanuel Tagoe and Duke Micah the contender, collectively bear the responsibility of delivering world title success for Ghana in 2021.
The tally of global boxing titles for Ghana still stands at 10 following the successive losses suffered by Commey and Dogboe in 2019, as they were Ghana’s only world champions.
The former kickboxer from Accra, Ghana, will appreciate the high stakes in this endeavour slated for February 13 because a win will obviously ease up the return journey to vying for the title which he lost to Teofimo Lopez, who is now the king of the lightweight division.
Commey did learn his lesson about comeback wins when after losing to Robert Easter Jr he suffered a controversial loss to Dennis Shafikov away in Moscow. He had vied for a WBC international title back home in Ghana before getting another shot at the IBF title.
Clearly, the Ghanaian has the peace of mind and seems to be having a smooth camp ahead of this bout. Trying to dig into his mind, it is clear that his captions on his social media handles subtly reflect his state of mind. One of the #strengthandconditioning reflects his obsession with stamina and appreciates the impact made on him by celebrity fitness trainer Dave Honig.
I just love working with Dave Honig, he just knows how to get the best out of you,” Commey said in an Instagram post last week. Another set #canelo and #anthonyjoshua give away his sources of motivation as these legends also made massive comebacks.
Saul Canelo Alvarez, following his first loss to Floyd Mayweather Jnr in 2013 has never looked back and has been on a more-than-impressive winning streak. Anthony Joshua’s story of bouncing back from the shock defeat to Andy Ruiz to reclaim his titles from the Mexican in December 2019 is also a great story that provides inspirational fuel to strive hard for success.
The choice of Jackson ‘El Fenix’ Marinez as an opponent for an immediate post-world title loss is a bit of a bold yet risky decision considering that Commey has to pick things up and get his full ring groove on.
The Domincan born boxer has lost only once in 20 bouts and has been knocking on the doors of high rankings for some time now. He was unsuccessful in his last attempt in August last year, when he lost via unanimous decision to undefeated Rolando Romero for the WBA interim title.
Many pundits and boxers criticized the decision claiming Marinez was robbed in the bout. The hunger and anger from that loss will definitely spur on the 30-year old boxer to give %200 against the former world champion.
The Dominican-born boxer has a relatively good reach of 177 cm which could help him keep the aggressor at bay – similar to what he delivered against Rolando Romero. Of course, Commey has a slight advantage in this case but that trait could only have minimal effect on the eventual output in the ring.
Commey, 33, will go in the bigger attraction with his pedigree as a former champ and his record of 29 wins, three losses with 26 coming via Kos. The WBC currently ranks him number 6 while he stands at 13th on the IBF table.
Marinez is three years younger with a growing fight résumé but has a bigger crave because he is yet to taste championship glory. Both boxers have a similar target but Commey’s may seem a more pressing one because he has to live his words of previously assuring his people that he will bounce back. If this bout doesn’t provide anything at all, it must provide big thrills and excitement at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.