The sport of boxing has a tendency of putting too much emphasis on undefeated records and fighters that lose their titles. In both instances, people tend to rule those fighters out right away and the road back to a world title shot becomes much harder.
In comes former IBF Lightweight Champion Richard Commey (29-3). The last time we saw Richard Commey was in 2019 when he suffered a knockout loss to Teofimo Lopez.
Commey has a fight coming up against Jackson Marinez (19-1) on February 13th. Marinez fought on Showtime back in August and suffered a controversial loss to WBA Interim Lightweight Champion Rolando Romero.
Richard Commey is eager to once again have his name within the lightweight title mix. First, he has to get by Jackson Marinez, which is no easy task. I checked in with Richard Commey to see where he is with boxing and life in general.
AG: Richard, thank you for taking the time out of your training camp to do this interview. The last time we saw you in the ring was December 2019 against Teofimo Lopez. How did you feel after the fight and what were some of the thoughts that came across your mind?
RC: Right after the fight, I was cool, as this is boxing. You always have to take whatever comes. You prepare, step in the ring to give it your all and it ends up not being your night. My heart was a little broken. Not because of the loss but more so because the referee could have given me more of a chance. It's something that you really can’t worry about as it has happened to the greats like Ali and Frazier.
AG: COVID hit the world pretty hard in 2020. During this time, were you here in the U.S or in Ghana? Also, what did you do last year outside of boxing?
RC: During that time, I was in Ghana so I couldn’t come back right away. I was there in Ghana until sometime in August. COVID was there but the deaths were low. The number of people that have died from COVID is less than 600. Regardless, everyone still took it very seriously.
For the first three months, everyone was locked down so I did some training and invited the guy that I work with to my house so that we could do some more training. I am the ambassador for The Streetwise Foundation, so I was involved with getting food for the people, like rice, sardines, cooking oil, etc. I feel like these people aren’t boxers, so I try to help them put food on their table. I’m a former world champion and God has blessed me, so it is always good to give back to the people. We always try to do these types of things when we have the chance to.
AG: Was there anything you found out about yourself during this time that made you reevaluate something you had going on in life?
RC: I’m the same person from day one and I’m a very humble one in and out of the ring. That is the way I see myself so nothing has really changed. Since being a world champion, people show me love and respect everywhere I go. My people will always have my back. When I lost in my last fight, many people shed tears so it will be great to come back and wipe away those tears.
AG: Andre Rozier seems to be a father figure to the fighters he trains. Can you describe the type of relationship you have with your coach?
RC: He means everything to me and is like a father. The same goes for all of the coaches that work with me. They are all like family to me.
AG: Towards the end of the year, rumors were floating around about possible opponents. How was this fight presented to you?
RC: I kept hearing things but I was waiting for my management to let me know about the fight.When the fight was presented to me, I was fine with it. I want to come back strong and get back into the mix of the lightweight division. After that type of loss, I need to come back and see where I’m at especially since I have been out of the ring for over a year. I really want to be a two-time world champion.
AG: The Jackson Marinez fight gets signed and you go into training camp. Was there a different approach in the preparation of this fight either mentally, physically or both?
RC: There hasn’t really been any changes. Mentally, I feel good and more relaxed than my last fight. Even though I’ve been out of the ring so long, I feel relaxed and positive about things.We have our plan and I’m doing what I am supposed to be doing as a boxer. Although I look and feel good, I won’t really know where I’m at until I get in the ring.
AG: You are now 33 years old and in boxing, that is normally a few years past your physical peak. What should fans expect from you at this point in your career?
RC: Honestly, I haven’t seen much effect from my age. I work really hard in the gym and don’t feel like I’m slowing down at all, but we will see come fight night.
AG: Where can fans follow you on social media? What would you like to say to the fans that continue to support you in and out of the ring?
RC: I want to tell my people back in Ghana that I love them as they have had my back since day one. Powell International Church has also had my back and have always supported me with prayers. I love my mom, wife and my newly born daughter. I appreciate everyone in Africa and around the world that support me. May God bless you all. I can’t mention everyone’s name but you know who you are. Hopefully this COVID can go away and God can make it so that we go back to the way things used to be.
My Three Cents:
Richard Commey is a fighter that is a tough out for anyone in the lightweight division. The question is whether at 33 if he can still compete at a high level. This Saturday, we will find out and if successful, it’ll be interesting to see where a win takes him. Tune into ESPN at 10pm EST/7PM PST as this will be the co-feature of the night.