Richard Commey started fast, Ray Beltran managed to hang in, and in the end, Commey’s power was too much for the weight-drained and aging Beltran.
Commey improved to 29-2 (26 KO) with an eighth round stoppage of Beltran (36-9-1, 22 KO), having already dropped Beltran twice in the opening round and again in the fifth.
Beltran, who missed weight on Friday, gamely scrapped and hung around in the fight, with Bad Left Hook having Commey up 67-63 on two separate cards going into the eighth round, meaning that Beltran had won — on our cards, at least — three of the first seven rounds, and that the knockdowns were making the significant difference.
But when Commey caught Beltran with a left hook early in the eighth, it was over. Beltran got up and was ready to continue, but referee Eddie Hernandez Sr called a halt to the fight, which was fair enough.
Commey, who holds the IBF lightweight title, will now await what’s next. It could be the winner of the July 19 fight between Teofimo Lopez and Masayoshi Nakatani, which is an IBF eliminator, or it could be the winner of the Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Luke Campbell fight on Aug. 31. If it’s the latter, Commey against the winner would be a full unification at 135 pounds.
As for the 38-year-old Beltran, he’d already moved up to 140 for his last fight, but took the chance at another world title shot for this one. It didn’t work out, on the scales or in the ring, but there’s still some fight left in the old warrior, too, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he still has a few good nights left in him at 140.