By Robert Coster
Photo courtesy of Michael Amoo-Bediako
Ghana is a country that has been prolific in producing talented boxers like Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey, David Kotey, Joshua Clottey etc. The latest and most promising boxer to hail from the West African nation is 26-year-old lightweight prospect Richard Commey (16-0, 16 KOs). Not surprisingly, Commey comes from Bukom, a township that has been the birthplace of Ghana’s greatest boxing stars. In March 2014, Commey is scheduled to fight Derry Matthews in the United Kingdom for the Commonwealth title and a victory will no doubt propel him into the world rankings.
Commey’s first love was not boxing but kickboxing, a sport in which he excelled. Then, gradually, Richard switched to boxing and had a successful but short (18-3) amateur career. Commey’s manager, Michael Amoo-Bediako, remembers, “When I first saw Richard, I was impressed by his natural ability and I saw that his style was more suited for pro boxing than the amateurs.” Under his guidance, Richard turned pro in 2010 and has scored a 100% knockout ratio, winning the Ghana lightweight title in 2011 and the IBF African Continental title in 2013.
Commey has moved his boxing career from Ghana to the United Kingdom where the lightweight division is hot with the likes of boxers like Kevin Mitchell, Gavin Rees, Anthony Crolla and, of course, WBO Champ Ricky Burns.
Says Richard, “If all goes well in my Commonwealth title fight, I’d then like to fight Kevin Mitchell for the IBF Intercontinental title.”
Considering Richard’s perfect KO ratio, one would imagine that he is primarily a slugger who headhunts. Wrong says manager Amoo-Bediako. “Richard is a thinker and a skillful boxer who works things out, studies you and will patiently grind you down. Also, his defensive skills are superb.”
To top it all, Richard Commey is a showman that walks into the ring to the sounds of the Ghana Azonto rythmn. Says Richard, smiling, “It pumps me up and shows my great moves to the fans. Nothing wrong with that!”
Robert Coster is an excellent judge of boxing talent. To date five young fighters from his “New Faces” series have gone on to win world titles (Tomoki Kameda, Evgeny Gradovich, Johan Perez, Nicholas Walters and now Ruslan Provodnikov).