Shane Mcguigan believes his light-heavyweight star Craig Richards could have his hands full on Saturday night when he takes on Scot Willy Hutchinson.

They meet as part of the Eddie Hearn vs. Frank Warren 5 x 5 bill in Riyadh on June 1 and Richards will have his second fight with McGuigan having stopped tough Boris Crighton in inside seven rounds their first fight together in February.

McGuigan has high hopes for Richards, whose only losses have come on points to Dmitirii Bivol, Joshua Buatsi and an early-career loss to Frank Buglioni, but he has not been active over the last two years. 

Hutchinson is 17-1 (13 KOs) and hopes were high for the 25-year-old until he suffered a shock defeat to Lennox Clarke for the British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles in March 2021.

Hutchinson has won four since, all by stoppage, but Richards is a significant favorite but McGuigan said it’s not an easy fight for his boxer.

“Definitely not,” said the coach. “If you think about where [junior welterweight prospect] Adam Azim is right now, or where Josh Kelly was when he turned pro, Josh Kelly’s a good fighter, yes he got exposed by [David] Avanesyan, but was it the weight down at 147? Is Kelly a better fighter up at 154? He’s had a couple of good wins, he beat Troy Williamson, he’s still a good fighter, that’s the same with Willy Hutchinson. 

“He just got a slightly smaller profile. He was going to be the face of TNT Sports because they were like, ‘This guy’s the nuts’. People believed this kid was going to be a superstar, so he can’t suddenly be crap overnight. 

“He’s a skilful guy, especially over six to eight rounds. He’s really, really sharp and being up at 175 is a lot more beneficial for Willy Hutchinson.”

But despite rating the Scottish fighter highly, McGuigan believes Richards, 18-3-1 (11 KOs) will make a statement. 

“I believe it’s a huge platform for Craig, and when he hits Hutchinson clean, I think it will be one of them where people say, ‘Woah, what a puncher’.”