- Covered the Broncos for two seasons with the Denver Post
- Graduate of the University of Houston
- A native of Jackson, Miss.
Former lightweight world titlist Richard Commey returns to face Jackson Marinez in the main event of a Top Rank card in Las Vegas (ESPN, 10 p.m. ET, undercard on ESPN+ at 7:30 p.m. ET). It is Commey’s first fight since losing the IBF world title by second-round TKO against Teofimo Lopez in December 2019. Commey (29-3, 26 KOs) won that title in February 2019 in a second-round TKO of Isa Chaniev. He defended the belt four months later with a TKO victory over Raymundo Beltran in Round 8, before losing to Lopez.
“It’s been over a year since I fought,” Commey said during a news conference on Thursday. “I lost my [title] to Teofimo. It was a little bit hard for me to take it…. It’s done, and I learned what I had to learn from it. I learned my lesson. It’s redemption time for Commey because I still got a lot in there, and I want to be a two-time world champion.”
Marinez (19-1, 7 KOs) had won 19 consecutive fights before losing a controversial decision to Rolando Romero in August, challenging for the WBA interim lightweight title.
“Regarding the experience of fighting Romero, the whole world saw what happened. Right now, I see myself as a king without a crown, and even though I lost in controversial fashion, it opened up bigger opportunities for me. I’m taking full advantage of them.”
In another entertaining matchup, heavyweight sensation Jared Anderson (7-0, 7 KOs) faces Kingsley Ibeh (5-1-1, 4 KOs) in a six-round battle. Anderson and Ibeh were two of the busier boxers in 2020, fighting five times and four times, respectively.
Also on the main card, Adam Lopez (14-2, 6 KOs), who gave Oscar Valdez a tough fight in 2019, faces Jason Sanchez (15-2, 8 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight bout.
Fight in progress: Jared Anderson vs. Kingsley Ibeh, 6 rounds, heavyweights
Puente outpoints Vega in battle of unbeaten fighters
Lightweight prospect Eric Puente (5-0, 0 KOs) scored a unanimous decision victory over Sergio Vega (2-1-1, 2 KOs), of Sacramento, California in a battle between two previously undefeated counter punchers.
Neither fighter landed blows that significantly hurt the other, but Puente, of San Diego, California, was more active and effective in earning the victory, which was scored 40-36 by all three judges.
The 21-year-old Puente is trained by Robert Garcia.
Tucker finishes Rodriguez with body punch
Welterweight prospect Jahi Tucker (3-0, 2 KOs) delivered a vicious left hook to the liver, knocking out Eric Rodriguez (1-2, 1 KO) midway through the second round.
The 18-year-old Tucker, of Deer Park, New York, turned pro in September, and he is showing a knack for being active, racking up his first three wins in less than three months. Tucker flashed an impressive jab early in the fight, but it was ultimately his power that forced Rodriguez, of Bradenton, Florida to a knee, ending the bout early.
Isley shines in decision win
Middleweight Troy Isley won his professional debut with a unanimous decision victory over Bryant Costello (40-36, 40-36 and 40-36), showing confidence and pushing back the taller Costello throughout the fight.
Isley (1-0, 0 KOs), 22, of Alexandria, Virginia, who is trained by Kay Koroma, was able to land his powerful right hand multiple times, and showed off some effective body punches and uppercuts that he’s added to his repertoire.
Costello (1-2-1 NC, 0 KOs), 34, of Monticello, New York, couldn’t use his height and reach advantages to find the distance he needed, and was unable to land any significant punches over the course of the four-round fight.
Koroma also works with Terence Crawford and Shakur Stevenson.
Diaz makes successful pro debut
Bantamweight prospect Floyd Diaz made his professional debut with a unanimous decision victory over Fernando Macias in the opener of Saturday’s Top Rank Boxing card, showing some good combinations and landing his left hook and straight right hands at will.
Diaz (1-0, 0 KOs), 17, a 2019 U.S. National Junior Olympics gold medalist from Las Vegas, had Macias in trouble with a short left hook in Round 2 that sent him stumbling to the ropes.
Macias (1-2, 0 KOs), 21, of Hanford, California, recovered in the third round and was able to back up Diaz with a left hook that landed right on Diaz’s chin. But that wasn’t enough to swing the fight, and at the end of four rounds, all three judges had the fight for Diaz 40-36.
Still to come:
Richard Commey vs. Jackson Marinez, 10 rounds, lightweights
Adam Lopez vs. Jason Sanchez, 10 rounds, featherweights
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