Argenis Mendez is convinced Richardson Hitchins hasn’t been adequately advanced for their fight Saturday night.

The former IBF junior lightweight champion feels facing him is too much, too soon for the 23-year-old Hitchins. Meeting Mendez in a 10-rounder Showtime will televise should amount to the toughest test of the unbeaten 140-pound prospect’s career, which Mayweather Promotions has guided since the 2016 Olympian made his pro debut in March 2017.

“They have rushed Richardson into this fight,” Mendez told “I don’t think he’s ready. For me, it’s a great opportunity to show the world how great I am.”

The 34-year-old Mendez (25-5-3, 12 KOs, 1 NC) settled for a 10-round majority draw with then-unbeaten Juan Heraldez (16-1-1, 10 KOs) in his last fight, which took place in May 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Mendez, a native Dominican who resides in Yonkers, New York, and Anthony Peterson (37-1-1, 24 KOs) fought to a 10-round split draw less than two months before Mendez faced Heraldez.

In Mendez’s mind, he won both of those fights against opponents who were more formidable than Hitchins.

“I think Heraldez is a lot better than Richardson Hitchins,” Mendez said. “Anthony Peterson was a lot better than him, too. I’ve analyzed him very carefully, and I don’t see anything special about him.”

An unfazed Mendez claims, too, that his 18-month layoff won’t adversely affect his performance because he stays in shape and doesn’t have any bad habits outside the ring. He feels defeating Hitchins will enable him to fight for a junior welterweight world title in 2021.

“A lot of people think this is a good opportunity for him,” Mendez said. “It’s not. For me, it’s an opportunity to show the world I’m here. Hopefully, after this fight, they’ll give me an opportunity to fight for the world title against Mario Barrios [the WBA world 140-pound champ]. That’s exactly the fight I want after this.

“I wanna dominate this young kid. I’m gonna show my skills and let everybody know Argenis Mendez is still here, is still dangerous and can fight. This is a great opportunity to show it. If Richardson tries to fight me, he’ll feel my speed and my power. Let’s see how he reacts to that.”

Hitchins-Mendez will be the second of three bouts Showtime will air from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut (9 p.m. EST; 6 p.m. PST).

In the opener, Russian southpaw Matt Korobov (28-3-1, 14 KOs), of Lantana, Florida, and Ronald Ellis (17-1-2, 11 KOs, 1 NC), of Lynn, Massachusetts, will square off in a 10-round super middleweight match. Ellis came in five pounds overweight Friday for a fight with a contracted limit of 161 pounds.

In the 12-round main event, Brooklyn’s Chris Colbert (14-0, 5 KOs) will defend his WBA interim super featherweight title against Panama’s Jaime Arboleda (16-1, 13 KOs). 

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.