Vasiliy Lomachenko might be trying to set up a trip to Australia and a crack at George Kambosos Jr, but first he has to get through dangerous ex-titleholder Richard Commey this Saturday night on ESPN.
Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KO) looked sharp and back to form this summer in his domination of Masayoshi Nakatani, while Commey (30-3, 27 KO) is coming off of a big time sixth round knockout win over Jackson Marinez in February. Prior to those outings, both Lomachenko and Commey had suffered losses against Teofimo Lopez.
The lightweight division has been red hot lately with Lopez-Kambosos, Haney-Diaz, Davis-Cruz, Ryan Garcia posting stuff online, and this is another big fight as the division shakes out heading into 2022. Who wins on Saturday?
Scott Christ (60-22)
Vasiliy Lomachenko is the sort of fighter who inspires people to believe he’s the best fighter in his division even if he loses a fight. “Well, his shoulder,” or “Well, he won the second half clearly so if it had been 15 rounds,” blah blah blah. I think Lomachenko is a master boxer, but he is at times too confident for his own good. Whatever else was wrong or happened against Teofimo Lopez, he simply lost too much of that fight by not doing anything. Call it whatever you want, blame whatever you want, he lost, and Lopez losing to George Kambosos Jr doesn’t make that result any less legitimate than it was.
He looked like an angrier Loma against Masayoshi Nakatani, and we might see a similar sort of fight here, but Commey has the sincere power shots that Nakatani doesn’t really bring to the table; the Japanese fighter has a pretty good stoppage percentage and all, but if you’ve seen them fight, I think it’s hard to say Commey doesn’t pack the better one-punch power.
Commey is also tough as nails and will be there trying to win this fight. I can see Lomachenko stopping him if he picks him apart and is really on his game, but I’m going to take the distance here, maybe in part just because I have a deep admiration for Commey, a standout contender for years now and about as nice a guy as there is in boxing. Lomachenko UD-12
Wil Esco (66-16)
In my personal opinion it was Vasiliy Lomachenko’s own arrogance that played a huge role in getting knocked off of his perch as pound-for-pound king, losing a decision and all his titles to Teofimo Lopez last year. I mean, no matter how well he fought down the stretch of that fight, no fighter should think they can just afford to give away the first half of any fight by hardly throwing any punches. Lomachenko might cite a shoulder injury or judging bias or whatever to rationalize that defeat, but there was no question that he came back with a point to prove against Masayoshi Nakatani, whom he knocked out in nine rounds over the summer.
As far as Commey goes, he’s a tough fighter that can pack a bit of a punch, but I don’t see him being quick enough with his feet and movement to play a game of chess with Lomachenko, and I’m not certain he has what it takes to just plow through him either. Sure, it’s possible that Commey lands a huge right hand that turns the tides of the fight, but if we’re playing the odds it’s hard for me to envision another scenario than Lomachenko methodically breaking down Commey with his boxing ability before turning up the heat in the second half. I think Lomachenko forces a late stoppage to put himself in prime position to fight George Kambosos for a handful of lightweight titles. Lomachenko TKO-10
Patrick L. Stumberg (67-15)
I wish nothing but the absolute best for Richard Commey. He’s a consummate professional, an absolute gentleman by all accounts, and a terrific slugger with heart for days. I also acknowledge that he’s getting his ass kicked here. The power’s there, the motor’s there, and the grit is there, but Lomachenko just has him hugely outclassed in speed, footwork, and overall craft. Lomachenko’s not the sort of technician Commey can break down through raw attrition; at his best, “Hi-Tech” can defuse even the most destructive of foes through his singular understanding of angles and precise, ferocious offense.
Commey is far, far too game to produce another “No Mas Chenko” moment, but as the damage piles up and his brief flashes of success grow fewer and farther between, the referee’s going to end up saving him if his chin doesn’t give out. Lomachenko makes his case for a Kambosos fight with a dominant mid-round finish. Lomachenko TKO-7