There will come a point when Richardson Hitchins challenges for a major title.
The unbeaten Brooklyn native is that confident in his ability that he doesn’t bother to call out the top guys at his weight. He knows that day will come in due to time.
Of course, a win over a top contender and former multi-time former title challenger will help speed up the process. That motivated his decision to accept a fight versus Jose Zepeda, whom he faces this Saturday on DAZN from Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida.
“Now my foot is in the door headlining my first show against someone who has a great name in the division,” Hitchins said of his upcoming twelve-round junior welterweight bout. “It shows my pedigree and skills that I display to get to this part of the journey.
“There’s a lot on the line right now but I’m not focused on the belts. My job is to go out there and dominate Zepeda and show who I am, then we can look at the landscape of the division.”
Hitchins (16-0, 7KOs) last fought in a ten-round shutout of unbeaten John Bauza on February 4 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City, mere minutes from his hometown. The 25-year-old contender—who represented Haiti in the 2016 Rio Olympics—hoped to fight Montana Love earlier this summer. Their planned July 15 bout was postponed and then canceled outright after Love suffered an undisclosed injury and never came back around to putting the fight back on the calendar.
The development opened the door for California’s Zepeda (37-3, 28KOs), who has only lost at the title level. The 34-year-old Mexican southpaw is coming off a ten-round decision win on March 25 in Guadalajara. The bout came four months after an eleventh-round knockout defeat to Regis Prograis in their vacant WBC 140-pound title fight last November 26 in Carson, California.
Zepeda fell just short in a February 2019 majority decision defeat to then-unbeaten WBC junior welterweight titlist Jose Ramirez.
“Zepeda has competed on the world stage,” noted Hitchins, who signed with Matchroom Boxing last fall and is in the third fight under that agreement. “It’s a level up from my previous opponents but if I am who I believe I am, I should win this fight and possibly get him out of there.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox