Ghana's lightweight contender, Richard Commey, says former IBF and WBC title holder Mikey Garcia decided against fighting him because the American did not want to take a massive risk.
Commey (27-2, 24 KOs) expressed his dissatisfaction at Garcia's inability to make a mandatory title defence against him and instead relinquished the IBF crown in order to move up weight, a new twist the Ghanaian blamed on the four-division champion's fear of losing against him and thereby missing future big paydays.
Garcia opted to move up two-weight divisions to challenge Errol Spence Jr instead of a mandatory IBF world title defence despite calls by the sanctioning body for the American to defend his crown against the Ghanaian.
Garcia won the IBF strap after defeating then title holder Robert Easter Jr in a unification bout at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on July 28, but following his decision to vacate the belt, the IBF called on Commey to agree a fight with Russia's Isa Chaniev by November 30.
Speaking to boxingscene.com, Commey said: “I’m disappointed that the fight with Mikey Garcia hasn’t happened. He is a very good fighter and I was looking forward to challenging myself against one of the best fighters out there."
“My Management and Promotional team of Michael Amoo-Bediako and Lou DiBella worked very hard to try and make the Garcia fight. It disappointed me that Garcia’s team let negotiations drag on when they had no intention of fighting.
"I understand it is because they know it is a massive risk to fight me and lose any potential big paydays in the future,” he added.
The 31-year-old Ghanaian is expected to make his second shot at a world title against Chaniev (13-1, 6 KOs) in 2019.
Chaniev, who will be making his maiden world title shot against the experienced Ghanaian, is yet to fight outside Europe. He outpointed Ismael Barroso over 12 rounds in his last outing on May 12 to win the IBF Inter-Continental lightweight title and the WBO International lightweight crown.
When asked about his chances against the Russian, Commey remained confident of realising his world title dream if the fight against 26-year-old Chaniev takes place.
“I am always in entertaining fights and I am continuing to improve under my trainer Andre Rozier. Chaniev comes to fight as do I so I’m sure this will be an exciting fight but there is only one winner on the night and that is Richard Commey," he said.
“It doesn’t really matter to me who is in the other corner I will fight anyone and fulfil my destiny and become a world champion.
“Unlike some fighters, I will fight anyone, anytime and when I become world champion I will defend my title against the best opposition out there."