The return of former lightweight champion Richard Commey was a big boom. Commey’s blistering right hook nearly knocked Jackson Marinez through the ropes as Commey secured a sixth-round knockout victory Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Commey (30-3, 27 KOs) stalked Marinez (19-2, 7 KOs) in the early rounds, using his strength to bully Marinez around the ring, while Marinez tried to keep Commey away by flashing superior boxing skills. But the 33-year-old Commey was a man on a mission, fighting for his country of Ghana in his first bout in 14 months.
The Commey-Marinez bout was elevated to Top Rank’s main event after Joe Smith Jr. vs. Maxim Vlasov was postponed because Vlasov tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. As a result, Commey took center stage on Saturday.
This was Commey’s first fight since losing his IBF lightweight title to Teofimo Lopez by second-round TKO in December 2019. One of the most interesting aspects of Saturday night was Lopez’s passionate, in-person support of Commey. Before the fight, Lopez went to Commey’s locker room, where they shared an embrace together and the champion gave Commey encouragement. During the fight, Lopez was in Commey’s corner, encouraging him and giving in-fight tips.
The 30-year-old Marinez, of the Dominican Republic, was coming off a hotly contested and controversial unanimous decision loss to Rolando Romero in August. With two straight losses, it’s time for Marinez to regroup.
For Commey, he is back in the thick of a very hot lightweight division that includes Lopez, Gervonta “Tank” Davis, Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney. Commey hopes this win will help him get back to another big fight.