With Jose Ramirez in talks to face Maurice Hooker in a super lightweight unification match, Ray Beltran has set his sights on his former stomping grounds of 135 pounds. ESPN reports that a fight between Beltran and IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey is “close to being finalized.” The fight would headline a June 28th Top Rank on ESPN card and serve as Commey’s first title defense.
The winner would then be eventually obligated to face the winner of a July 19th eliminator between Teofimo Lopez and Masayoshi Nakatani, though Lopez’s potential presence in the WBC’s new eliminator tournament could complicate things.
Commey (28-2, 25 KO) fell just short of claiming the IBF title against Robert Easter Jr. in 2016, but finally got his hands on it in February by smashing Isa Chaniev. Unfortunately, he wound up hitting Chaniev so hard that he damaged his knuckle, scrapping a planned unification match with Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Beltran (36-8-1, 22 KO) made his super lightweight debut in February with an impressive stoppage of previously unbeaten Hiroki Okada. He’d previously lost his WBO lightweight title to Jose Pedraza in August.
I can’t imagine a fight between these two being anything but a banger, and as far as voluntary defenses go, I’ve seen much worse.