First it was “likely,” then they agreed to terms, and now it’s official. Former unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko will face onetime IBF titlist Richard Commey at Madison Square Garden on December 11th, following the Heisman Trophy presentation on ESPN.
Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KO) and Commey (30-3, 27 KO) are coming off of impressive knockout victories and are unquestionably eager for a second crack at Teofimo Lopez. Considering how high both men sit in most sanctioning bodies’ rankings, a victory here could easily propel the winner into mandatory challenger status. It’s also just a great matchup between a supreme technician and one of the toughest customers in the division.
Lomachenko said, “It is always special when I fight at Madison Square Garden, where so many great moments in my career have taken place. Richard Commey is a former world champion, an opponent I will not underestimate. I expect the best version of Commey, and I will be prepared for whatever he brings on December 11.”
Commey said, “I want to thank my team of Michael Amoo-Bediako, Lou DiBella, and Keith Connolly for getting me this opportunity. Ever since the Lopez fight, all I have thought about is becoming a two-time world champion. This fight against Lomachenko will get me one step closer to my goal. I also want to thank Bob Arum and Top Rank for the opportunity to again grace the stage at Madison Square Garden, one of boxing’s most iconic venues. I know that most people consider me the underdog, but I am aiming to prove them all wrong and make Ghana proud once again.”
The co-feature pits America’s next great heavyweight hope, Jared Anderson (10-0, 10 KO), against former prospect Oleksandr Teslenko (17-1, 13 KO) in a fight originally planned for the November 20th Terence Crawford-Shawn Porter card. “Big Baby” is 3-0 in 2021, while Teslenko followed his 2019 upset loss to Shawndell Winters with a knockout of Cesar David Crenz this past June.
Anderson said, “I’ve made my mark in Las Vegas over the last two years and now it’s time to steal the show in my Madison Square Garden debut on December 11. The Mecca of Boxing holds so much history, and I can’t wait to add my name to list of legends who’ve fought there.”
As has become tradition for these cards, top Puerto Rican prospect Xander Zayas (11-0, 8 KO) and Nico Ali Walsh (2-0, 2 KO) will be in action against TBA. Keep an eye on Zayas; he’s looked great so far but his fellow up-and-coming boricuas have had a rough go of things, so who knows what might happen.