Richardson Hitchins didn’t come to make any new fans in Cleveland.
Both his pre-fight trash talk of the city’s local hero and his style in the ring ensured that he would leave town as public enemy number one. What he was able to do from bell to bell was more than enough to preserve his unbeaten mark, as he forced Yomar Alamo to retire on his stool after eight lopsided rounds in their DAZN co-feature Saturday evening from Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.
Headlining the show, Cleveland’s Montana Love (18-0-1, 9KOs) faces Australia’s Steve Spark (15-2, 14KOs) in a scheduled twelve-round bout.
Hitchins spent the early rounds working largely behind his long jab. The unbeaten junior welterweight used the stick to keep the fight at his desired pace, though not to that of the partisan crowd who took exception to his ongoing feud with the evening’s headliner and local favorite Montana Love. Hitchins didn’t make any more fans with a style that struggled to shift the fight out of first gear.
Alamo did not help matters with his awkward style and minimal offense. It took a few rounds for the Puerto Rican boxer to get untracked, enjoying his first significant moment of success with a right hand late in round three. By that point, Hitchins landed several rights of his own, briefly stunning Alamo earlier in a faster paced round than was the case through the previous six minutes.
Hitchins immediately resumed control and never relinquished his lead. Alamo’s corner was discouraged to the point of bluntly telling their charge that ‘if you don’t let your hands go, you’re screwed.’
Alamo all but refused to heed the advice, prompting another lecture from his father and head trainer. It came after the end of the eighth round, when Alamo was bluntly asked if he was going to put up a fight or if they needed to stop it. The body language from the 27-year-old told the tale, as his corner signaled for the fight to come to a merciful halt.
The official time was 3:00 of round eight.
Alamo suffers his second straight defeat, falling to 20-2-1 (12KOs).
Hitchins cruises to 15-0 (7KOs), picking up his second stoppage win in a row after having racked up four consecutive distance victories. The fight was his first under Matchroom Boxing, as the Brooklynite signed to the company with the sole intention of next facing Montana Love, who faces Stevie Spark in the main event.
“I took the fight, came to Ohio to face this hostile crowd,” Hitchins told DAZN’s Claudia Trejos after the win, drawing immediate boos. “I already said I want Montana Love next. Y’all keep asking me that question. I came over here to get it. I signed with Matchroom. Tell Montana to sign that contract and let’s do it.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox