Everything’s been going according to plan. In the first handful of fights for Richardson Hitchins, he easily took care of business. The opponents, however, were nothing to brag about.

The names won’t sound familiar. Alexander Picot, Jordan Morales, Charles Stanford? None ring a bell. Still, they all played their role. As Hitchins continued to pad his record, his level of opposition increased slowly.

Yet, facing the likes of Malik Hawkins, Yomar Alamo, and most recently, John Bauza, hasn’t taken his career to the next level.

Former world title holders, current champions, highly ranked contenders - anyone with a pulse is who Hitchins was hoping to face. On September 23rd, at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida, his nonstop call-outs of a notable name will officially end.

Jose Zepeda has been on the championship doorstep. Just a few months ago, he nearly kicked it down.

Against Regis Prograis, the now 34-year-old gave it everything he had. His moments during their showdown were highlight reel worthy but in the end, a knockout loss in the penultimate round was the final outcome. Loss aside, Zepeda has always been one of the best super lightweights around. Hitchins isn’t disagreeing with that statement, but as many times as he’s patted himself on the back and talked at length about his skills, Hitchins (16-0, 7 KOs) knows good and well that he has to show up and show out without breaking a sweat.

“I feel like, if I am who I say I am, I should be able to take care of him with no problem,” said Hitchins to YSM Sports Media.

Showing weaknesses in the biggest fight of his career would defeat the purpose of Hitchins’ self-praise. The 25-year-old believes he has a reputation to uphold. That said, he isn’t expecting Zepeda (37-3, 28 KOs) to simply lay down and go away quietly.

“He’s not gonna be no easy work. He’s very awkward, experienced, and he has good timing. We’ll have to figure that out when we get in the ring.”