Richardson Hitchins is planning to dominate Jose Zepeda and send a message to the big guns at 140 pounds that he’s coming for them when they clash on Saturday night at Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida(DAZN).
Hitchins (16-0 7 KOs) is sitting pretty at #5 in the WBO and #7 in the IBF, and victory on Saturday night would see him rise to the cusp of World title fights, with the WBC Silver, WBO NABO and IBF North American Super-Lightweight titles on the line.
The Brooklyn ace shone in his last outing, flooring New Jersey’s John Bauza en-route to a shut out over ten at Madison Square Garden. The 25 year old knows continuing to win is vital to landing the World title shot he craves, but not content with that, Hitchins believes that his rivals will stand up when he delivers dominant displays, and that starts with the biggest test of his career in former World title challenger Zepeda (37-3 28 KOs).
“Winning is number one of course, but to get the big fights I have to win and dominate,” said Hitchins.
“I’m ready for the champions because when you look at the guys Prograis or Haney fight, those are guys that I am a nightmare for any of them. I have size, reach, superb defense – I can damn near feel when a guy is about to punch. So, when you have a guy like that against a guy that doesn’t know how to defend themselves, it kind of makes it tricky for them, because I’ve been in there with guys that just stand in front of you and don’t have the ability. You get in front of a guy like Shakur Stevenson, that turns boxing into a math problem, it’s different and that’s what you face with me. I can bring that puzzle that people can’t solve, it’s algebra in the ring.
“Every fight at 140lbs is a good fight, this is a great fight. Jose is confident, he’s put people to sleep, out, first round KOs, had the fight of the year in 2020 with Baranchyk. And then there’s people now saying, ‘OK let’s see how Richardson handles Zepeda’. Then you have Teofimo, he says he’s from Brooklyn – I know he ain’t, but I am. He beat the man at 140 and I feel I’m the uncrowned king at 140 and that would be a great fight.
“Jose is supposed to say he wants to fight me. He’s 34 years old, he’s been campaigning for a long time, he has confidence, he was power, and he’s got the tools to make it a nightmare for me, so he should be taking an opportunity like this, why would he say no?
“It’s just my job to show him that I am on a different level to him. He’s going to try to use his experience to try land his power, pressure me. Boxing is a sport where you must be smart, he’s a tough fighter but he’s not a durable one because he’s been down numerous times and I feel the mistake that they cannot make its me is overlooking my power, I’m a very sharp powerful fighter. My record may not show it, but if you pay attention, it shows I am punching.
“I’m a way smarter boxer than Jose, he’s one-dimensional and I just feel I’ll show levels. I must be smart and show him, yeah, this kid knows what he is on. I think when I am in there, he will see that. Boxing is all about timing, everything I do is about doing it at the right time.
“There’s a lot of things that can happen next. I want to fight again in 2023, I think that could be a guy that’s going to bring the best out of me, just like Zepeda will, and then we should be ready for the World champions, Devin, Regis and Teofimo. If I win this, I’ll climb the rankings again in the WBO, so I’ll be knocking at the door for Teo.”
Htichins’ clash with Zepeda is part of a stacked card in Orlando, with Jessica McCaskill (12-3 5 KOs) and Sandy Ryan (6-1 2 KOs) clashing in a unification battle for the WBA, WBC, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine Welterweight titles.
Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (14-0 10 KOs) press his claims for World title action at Middleweight as he tackles Steve Rolls (22-2 12 KOs) and will Orestes Velazquez (7-0 6 KOs) will defend his WBA International Super-Lightweight title to kick off the main card against Mohamed Soumaoro (13-1 6 KOs).
Khalil Coe (6-0-1 4 KOs) continues to rise through the ranks at Light-Heavyweight, and ‘Big Steppa’ headlines the Before The Bell action and will be looking for his third KO win of 2023 against Kenmon Evans (10-1-1 3 KOs). Super-Welterweight Jeovanny Estella (12-0 3 KOs) and Super-Flyweight Jasmine Artega (10-0-1 5 KOs) tasting action over eight rounds while Bantamweight Roberto Rivera Gomez (3-0 2 KOs) kicks the whole night off over four rounds, with all three fighters to be matched imminently.