The I.B.F. lightweight title will be up for grabs Saturday, December 14th from Madison Square Garden with champion Richard Commey making his 2nd title defense against Teofimo Lopez. Teofimo Lopez vs Richard Commey Odds have Lopez -280 with 90% of fight picks on Lopez. 90% of the betting action is on 2018 prospect of year Lopez who opened at -120. The 22-year old Lopez, 14-0, 11 KO’s, has been touted as the next big thing but he will be met by a determined and experienced champion in Commey, 29-2, 26 KO’s. Is the Honduran Lopez’s vaunted power the result of suspect opposition or is the kid deadly? Will the 32-year old Ghana warrior Commey be able to catch up to the slicker more athletic Lopez? With a win Lopez would become one of the youngest lightweight champions of all-time. ESPN2 News broke down the particulars with free expert boxing predictions from our handicappers.
Teofimo Lopez – Boxer
Strengths: Booming puncher with excellent upper-body strength. Quick hands and feet with fast-twitch reflexes makes him unique. Has displayed power in both hands against ordinary opposition. Right cross behind the jab carries the most thunder but has all the punches. Shoots the jab well off the hip always looking for counterpunches. Excellent boxing brain despite a small body of work in the paid ranks. Slickster that makes great use of the shoulder roll.
Weaknesses: Uses a different trainer every other day and it reflects in his confused ring identity. More of a boxer than puncher but likes to brawl for the cameras. Questionable stamina having been 12-rounds only once against a much smaller opponent. Can be hit with overhand rights. Average punch volume. Average height and reach. Unknown chin. A bit flatfooted.
Richard Commey – Boxer
Strengths: Stiff jab sets the table for bombs. Pressure fighter that comes forward from the opening bell. Very solid chin with marathon runner type stamina. Fundamentally sound with a difficult to penetrate high guard. Purple-hearted with excellent resiliency. Rough fighter that throws lots of hard leather with determination and grit. Long-armed. Very good finisher.
Weaknesses: Average overall boxing ability. Not the fastest of characters with ordinary footwork and decent but not great handspeed. Can be hit hard coming forward with head stationary. Stiff and somewhat methodical. Average height.
ESPN2 News Boxing Predictions: Lopez via decision
Fight Picks: Lopez via split decision
Teofimo Lopez Tale-Of-The-Tape
Hand Speed/Accuracy: 8.5
Punch Volume: 6
Richard Commey Tale-Of-The-Tape
Hand Speed/Accuracy: 6
Punch Volume: 8
Height/Reach: Commey +1
Strength/Size: Lopez +1
Bodypunch Resiliency: Lopez +1
Intelligence: Lopez +1
Confidence/Focus/Will To Win: Lopez +2
Cuts/Injury: Commey +1
Age/Inactivity: Lopez +2
Judges Scoring: Lopez +4
Trainer/Camp: Lopez +1
ESPN2 News Boxing Odds: Lopez -500