Azonto Time now July 12: Richie Commey to now face Buckland for Commonwealth title

By Prince Dornu-Leiku
The inability of Benjamin Ashley and his team to get visa clearance from the UK High Commission in Accra has resulted in a switch of opponent once again for Richie Commey for his overly belated fight for the Commonwealth Lightweight championship.

Undefeated Commey (17-0, 17 KOs) will now face Welshman Gary Buckman (28-4, 9 KOs) at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, UK on July 12 for the vacant belt in what Michael Amoo-Bediako, manager of Commey believes could put the Ghanaian boxer in line for bigger titles.

‘The Ashley fight did not materialise due to visa problems, I cannot go into the full details of that as there may be legal ramifications but to say we are all unhappy about the situation is an understatement,’ Mr. Amoo-Bediako told exclusively.

‘This fight against Gary Buckland on paper is a better fight than Ashley, it will give Richard a lot of credibility should he win and move him up the world rankings. Buckland has won multiple titles here in the UK so Richard is in for a tough night come July 12 but this is what we have prepared for and he will be ready to bring the belt home to Ghana,’ the UK based manager said.

Michael Amoo-Bediako also explained why he did not pursue the option of staging the Ashley-Commey fight in Ghana which could have avoided all the travel problems Ashley’s camp faced which necessitated the cancellation of the fight originally scheduled for May 17.

‘The reason we didn’t go for Ghana because myself being joint promoter had obligations here in the UK and to switch to Ghana in such a short space of time would have been a logistical nightmare,’ he said.

Nevertheless, Commey’s camp believe the Africa Boxing Union (ABU) Lightweight champion will be up to challenge of former British super featherweight champion Buckland who is coming straight off back-to-back fights with fellow Welshman Gavin Rees, both winning one each.

‘Of course all these changing dates and opponents has been a distraction for Richard but he is ever the professional and understands these things happen in boxing, Carl Lokko his trainer has been making sure that these postponements do not affect his concentration and commitment to his training, he is doing a fantastic job with that,’ Amoo-Bediako said.

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