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Commey cleared to train, eyes Loma late in '19

Lightweight world titleholder Richard Commey has been cleared to begin training again with his right hand with a unification fight against Vasiliy Lomachenko probable later in the year.

On Feb. 2, Commey won a vacant 135-pound world title in his second opportunity, knocking down Isa Chaniev three times in a one-sided, second-round knockout victory on the Sergey Kovalev-Eleider Alvarez II undercard at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

However, Commey injured a ligament in his right hand during the fight. While he did not need surgery, Commey had to rest the hand and go through rehabilitation, which cost him a unification fight with Lomachenko on April 12. Instead, pound-for-pound king Lomachenko will defend his two belts against mandatory challenger and former titlist Anthony Crolla on that date in the main event of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ card at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, Commey visited his hand specialist and was given the green light to begin training again with his right hand.

"Boom! Just had the all clear from the doctor here in New York," Commey wrote on social media.

Promoter Lou DiBella told ESPN that after the fight with Chaniev, Commey, 32, returned home to Ghana, where he was given a hero's welcome and met the president of the country. He also rehabbed his hand and last week, DiBella said, he saw his doctor in Ghana and was cleared to train. But when he returned to New York, he also went to see the specialist who had examined his hand following the fight just to make sure everything was OK.

"He's able to start using his hand again. The doctor told him he can start training when he wants, basically," DiBella said. "He would like to fight as soon as he can."

DiBella said the goal is to get Commey (28-2, 25 KOs) a title defense in June or July and that he is talking to Top Rank about working that out. DiBella made a deal with Top Rank to have Commey-Chaniev on a Top Rank card as part of a deal that also included terms for the winner to meet Lomachenko in a title unification bout.

"Richard is not looking for a free-pass fight, but he would like to defend his title first in June or July against somebody who is not Loma," DiBella said. "The idea is to have him get a defense in the early summer and then fight Loma later in the year."