Richard “RC” Commey in the first defense of his IBF world lightweight title looked impressive, knocking down former world champion Ray Beltran four times en route to an eighth-round knockout in front of 2,795 fans at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California.
The contest was still ruled a title defense for Commey even though he could not have lost the title to Beltran as he was unable to make weight the day before. Beltran did make the 2nd-day weight the morning of the fight to avoid the possibility of the contest being scrapped altogether.
It was all Commey (29-2, 26 KOs) from the opening bell, as the native of Accra, Ghana, knocked Beltran (36-9-1, 22 KOs) down a pair of times in the opening round and had him pinned against the ropes when the bell sounded to end the round.
The durable Beltran had his moments in the fight and even appeared to hurt Commey on a few occasions, but Commey proved to be resilient and finished Beltran off with a furious combination in the eighth round. Beltran rose to his feet, but the referee waved the fight off.
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“Beltran showed why he was a champion. He’s a great fighter who showed it against me tonight,” Commey said after the fight. “I was happy to get the job done and defend my title for the first time.
“It looks like Teofimo Lopez is next, but he has a job to do first.”
Beltran was asked after the fight if this was the end of his fight career and he stated no but would consider future fights at 140.
“I can no longer make 135 no more. It was so hard for me to make it” Beltran said in his post-fight interview.