When Richard Commey mounts the ring again on February 13 in Las Vegas, there will be only one thing on his mind and that is to secure a win over Jackson Marinez.
It is so important that Commey must do everything within his might to beat the Dominican if he is to stand a chance of fighting for the world championship again.
Commey has everything to lose if he fails to win against Marinez. It will really affect his bid to come back stronger after that painful defeat to Teofimo Lopez in December 2019.
The Ghanaian has been here before in his career when he needed a win badly to kickstart his career and he did that perfectly.
That fight with Alejandro Luna in 2018 paved way for him to land a shot at the International Boxing Federation (IBF) belt against Chaniev in February 2019.
At the time of fighting Luna, Commey had painfully lost a controversial split decision to Robert Easter Jnr in his maiden world championship fight in 2016.
It was a bout Commey felt should have gone in his favour but the judges thought otherwise. The Ghanaian’s camp protested so much that he was given another opportunity to land a rematch with Easter Jnr but failed.
This time, Commey needed to beat Russia’s Denis Shafikov to get his much-anticipated rematch with Easter Jnr but he was robbed in his opponent’s home.
Despite all the ups and downs, the 33-year-old bounced back in grand style three years later to become a world champion.
Commey has a way of coming back stronger whenever he goes down in his career. In that same circumstance, I expect him to go past Marinez to relaunch his career in a division that has over five elite fighters.
But is it going to be an easy job for him? What must Commey do to tame the dangerous Marinez?
Style of fighting
Marinez proved to the entire world that he has a good chin to take punches against knockout specialists in his last bout with Rolando Romero.
The Dominican did not only frustrate Romero with his composure but out-boxed a knockout artiste who went the distance for the first time in 12 bouts.
Marinez would have an age advantage going into the bout with Commey. He is three years younger than Commey and usually refuses to stand toe to toe with hard-hitting punchers.
He is very skilful and usually relies on his jabs to keep his opponent at bay. Commey must be wary of his type of fighting and concentrate on boxing him around.
It will be disastrous for Commey if he should over-rely on getting a knockout in this bout. What he needs to do is to concentrate on winning a decision but can always take up the stoppage when it avails itself.
Commey has proved to be a knockout and distance fighter throughout his career and I do not see him struggling against Marinez should the bout travel.
This will be the first time Commey will have to deal with ring rust in his career. He has never gone over a year without fighting but must deal with that this time around against a very tough opponent in Marinez.
I think dealing with that will be very crucial in winning that fight. His inability to come out of his ring rust could trouble Commey since Marinez is making a return in five months.
Commey, however, has the experience to deal with that deficiency having fought elite boxers in the division. He has slugged it out with three world champions and knows what to do when the going gets tough.
Those engagements with the likes of Easter Jnr, Ray Beltran and Teofimo Lopez has thought him a lot in the ring that could be brought to bear in this fight with Marinez.
I think Commey’s chances are bright against Marinez because the Dominican is yet to fight an opponent of Ghanaian calibre and I won’t be surprised seeing him struggle.
The only thing left is for Commey to do all the works in the gym in order to have the best of training camp ahead of a fight that has the possibility of damaging his career.