It was supposed to be a shootout. Teofimo Lopez made it target practice. The Brooklyn native ruined Richard Commey with a counter right hand and a merciless barrage of finishing shots to pick up the IBF lightweight title.
Both fighters’ chins were tested in the opening round. Lopez knocked Commey back with multiple counter left hooks while the champion scored with two eye-catching overhand rights.
In the end, Lopez proved quicker on the draw. In round two, both men simultaneously fired right hands with Lopez leaning downward and out of range. This split-second adjustment allowed Lopez to loop his shot and catch Commey flush.
The Ghanian fell to a knee. An attempt to rise quickly sent him tumbling to his back. It took the last of Commey’s reserves just to beat the count, leaving him helpless on the ropes against a renewed Lopez assault. After dozens of unanswered blows, the fight was halted.
The breakout title-winning performance opens the unification path to face fellow Top Rank fighter and WBC/WBO lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko in early 2020.