Teofimo Lopez vs Richard Commey: Prediction, strategies and odds for the IBF Lightweight Championship
This evening at the world-renowned Madison Square Garden, former 2016 Olympian and Lightweight phenom Teofimo Lopez (14-0-0, 11 KOs) will attempt to capture his first world title against the very durable and strong incumbent IBF champion Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KOs) of Accra, Ghana. The brilliant 135-pound match-up is expected to be the most competitive and action-filled bout of an amazing Top Rank Tripleheader, which is slated to air at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT on ESPN following the live 2019 NCAA Heismann Trophy presentation.
Die-hard fight fans are encouraged to view the entire card from the "Mecca of Boxing" on ESPN + with a start time 5:45 ET.
Lopez vs Commey odds
In what's being viewed as an almost "even money" fight by most ringside observers, Teofimo Lopez is currently sitting as the 3 to 1 (-300) betting favorite, while IBF Lightweight Champion Richard Commey is a surprising 2 1/2 to 1 (+250) betting underdog.
Let's preview the strengths, weaknesses, and keys to victory for both competing fighters!!
Teofimo Lopez (14-0-0, 11 KOs)
Although Lopez will enter the ring as the slight betting favorite, the Brooklynite will be facing his toughest test to date in Richard Commey, who likes to overwhelm his opponents with size, activity and accurate punching.
The 22 year-old challenger from New York is a resourcefully accurate counter puncher who successfully hides behind a "Mayweatheresque" shoulder roll defensive posture from an orthodox stance. Due to the fact that Teofimo has such brilliant reflexes, he customarily is able to move effectively in and out of range while avoiding incoming shots from his opponents.
Because the undefeated American combines speed with power, he often depends on being flat-footed when he throws quick left hooks and right hands, which will often limit his offensive attack to one or two punches at a time. Against a punching machine like Commey, he absolutely has to make every punch count without trying to take the durable African born fighter out with one punch. Lopez has to be willing to fight all three minutes of every round and must be prepared to go the distance in this scheduled twelve round fight.
To capture the IBF Lightweight championship from the aggressive minded champion, Teofimo Lopez absolutely must watch out for Commey's vaunted lead left hook-right hand combination, to which the title challenger could be susceptible because of his tendency to lean to his right side and into a sharp left hook.
Tonight Teofimo has to implement a sharp, sticking jab to the body and head of Commey to keep him off balance and out of rhythm. When the champ attempts to let his hands go, the title challenger absolutely must look for the roll-counter uppercut under the hard right hand of Commey, or roll-counter straight right hand to the chin of the taller and rangier fighter. Also, look for the "hook off the jab" or "check left hook" to score often while Commey attempts to close the distance. But he absolutely cannot throw it from mid to long range or he could get caught by a counter left hook by the champ, which he will throw quite frequently in combination with the straight right hand.
After the Brooklyn native lands effectively, he needs to turn his opponent and force him to reset. This will make it very difficult for Commey to throw combinations and keep him from countering effectively. When the incumbent titleholder does find his way inside, the proud New Yorker must choose to tie his opponent up rather than sitting in the pocket and trading with the strong, volume punching champion. This will force the referee to break up the action and create distance between the two fighters.
If he can successfully implement these strategies for twelve hard rounds, Teofimo Lopez will become the new IBF Lightweight Champion in front of his hometown fans!!
Richard Commey (29-2-0, 26 KOs)
This ultra-durable punching machine is a former 2008 and 2012 Olympian who is no stranger to action-filled wars in the ring. Because Commey is always in great shape, he can take most opponents' best punches and keep moving forward while letting his hands go with regularity.
The primary keys to victory against the much quicker Teofimo Lopez will be volume, pressure, and distance.
In his only loss to a smaller opponent, Commey was consistently fighting off of his back foot and wasn't able to get leverage on his punches in combination. He found himself consistently fighting with his back against the ropes or in retreat mode. To keep from getting his third professional loss, the 32 year old champ absolutely must put on his hard hat and go to work, applying constant pressure from start to finish. He has to be willing to take a few just to land his effective combinations in rhythm while never letting his foot off the gas pedal.
In this match-up, Lopez possesses the quicker reflexes and the faster hands. So Commey absolutely must not throw from mid to long range or he will be countered effectively after he misses. His 22 year old opponent has excellent radar from range and can see punches coming with relative ease. Commey has to cut off the ring effectively and close the distance, fighting behind a sharp sporadic jab. If he's lazy with his lead left, he could get countered effectively with sharp right hands from Lopez all night long.
Also, because the much younger fighter has such quick reflexes, he can't get discouraged when his opponent makes him miss and absolutely must follow through with combinations at close quarters. Richard would be wise not to be a "headhunter" for the first three or four rounds and look to "touch" him anywhere he can during the first third of the scheduled twelve round fight. After a few rounds of a consistent pressured attack, Teofimo will begin to slow down, giving Commey more opportunities to land in combination to the body and head.
If Richard Commey can apply constant pressure from start to finish while outworking Teofimo Lopez for twelve rounds, he will retain his IBF Lightweight Championship with activity and effective aggression!
Commey vs Lopez prediction for the IBF Lightweight Championship
Although both men have impressive power and great knock-out ratios, it's highly unlikely that this brilliant and competitive match-up doesn't go the distance. Both fighters are currently competing at a very high level and are extremely confident heading into this pivotal bout. While both fighters will have their respective flashes of brilliance, look for Lopez to get the nod from the judges at ringside due to excellent defense and a higher connect rate of clean, effective and consequential punching.
Teofimo Lopez UD12 over Richard Commey