12 Rounds With ... Richardson Hitchens

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The undefeated lightweight prospect isn’t shy about telling you how good he is. He’ll put his skills on display yet again this Saturday in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York.

Richardson Hitchins is an intelligent fighter, blessed with both great hand and foot speed. The undefeated, 21-year-old Brooklyn native has mixed it up with the best fighters in the world throughout the best gyms in the country.

While representing his parent’s native country of Haiti in the 2016 Olympics, Hitchins impressed a recently retired Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. They immediately signed him upon his turning professional.

Hitchins is now 8-0 (4 KOs). On Saturday night, he’ll put his skills on display at the Barclays Center in his hometown of Brooklyn. The bout is part of a stacked undercard, with a main event featuring WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder defending his title versus Dominic Breazeale, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

Hitchins will look to continue his ascent towards the top of the 140-pound division against Columbia’s Alejandro Munera (4-1-3, 4 KOs).

Why do you feel you are the best prospect in boxing?

I’m the best prospect because I’ve got all the tools. I got the Boxing IQ, the power, the speed and I have the hunger. I have the passion for it.

If I don't feel like I’m the best then I’m in the wrong sport. I feel like I got the tools to become one of the best boxers to ever lace up a pair of gloves.

Is speed your best attribute?

I think I’m one of the smartest. Boxing is not about speed. You can be fast, but not smart. 

I’ve been in there with a lot of guys who are faster than me but it’s about timing and inches. I feel like I can compete with any level boxer.  My thinking game is where I’m the strongest.

What was it like representing Haiti in the 2016 Olympics?

That was a great moment because I snuck up on a lot of people. Boxing in Haiti ain’t that big. I’m really American. My boxing is really from America, so to use that experience to help put Haiti on the map and compete with some of the best fighters in the world, that was a great experience.

Is it true that Andre Berto helped pay your way to make the Olympics?

Andre was someone I knew who was a Haitian boxer and really good. I looked up to him a lot when I was coming into the sport, and I’m just grateful to him for paying my way to the Olympics. I knew I had the skills to make it to the Olympics, and all I needed was an opportunity. Andre gave me that opportunity.

Which fighters did you look up to the most growing up?

Floyd Mayweather influenced me the most; my whole style, the way I approach boxing in and out the ring. He was the biggest motivation to me. This is the Mayweather generation.

Is it true that you were really into music before boxing?

I went to a performing arts school out here in New York (Mahalia Jackson Performing Arts School). There were a lot of music and talent shows there.

I used to do the talent shows, sing and do all of that. I’m big on music and fashion, I love both. I always see myself being involved with art in the future.

I feel like I can compete with any level boxer. Undefeated Super Lightweight Prospect - Richardson Hitchins

What is your favorite kind of music?

Melodic rap—my era. I’m into Drake or Meek, or it could even be a regular artist from the street.

Like there’s a kid from Brooklyn called J-Guapo. I made Gervonta (Davis) listen to him the other day, he’s dope as hell. Any good music that is fire, I’ll listen to it. Whatever motivates me or talks to me.

2Pac and them? Nah, I’m listening to more stuff like Kevin Gates—my era.

You’ve said in the past you want tough opponents, which will help you have a more professional style.

The opponents Mayweather Promotions are putting in with me are great because they’re durable. They’re not just guys you touch and they go down, they are real fighters you have to beat up to knock out.

At first, I was frustrated. I was like, is it my power? Why am I not knocking them all out? But I understand it’s because these guys are durable and sometimes show up to survive.

As of now, I feel like I’m ready for my big coming out party. I feel like I can fight a former world champion or a guy whose fought former world champions.

Guys like (former IBF world champion) Argenis Mendez or (former WBC world champion) Antonio Demarco.

I’m 8-0 right now. I feel like in my 10th fight I’m ready for someone like that. I’m ready for 10 rounds. I think it’s the perfect time to show the boxing world I’m the truth.

Who are some of the top fighters you’ve sparred with?

Terence Crawford, Erickson Lubin, Lamont Peterson, Gervonta Davis, Shakur Stevenson, Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Robert Easter, Karlos Balderas—all top guys.

What did you learn from that?

It opens your eyes up to the game. Like I say, it’s timing and inches.

Shakur was someone close to me that I looked up to, because he was so smart at a young age. A lot of things I’m learning now, he knew at 15, 16-years-old. The “hit and not get hit” aspect really influenced me.

As a kid you come to the gym with different mentalities. One day you wanna be Mike Tyson, the next day you wanna be Pernell Whitaker and slip a million punches. But I was around Shakur so much that he always preached to me that skills are over power—over everything.

How would you describe your style to fans?

I’m an all-around fighter. I can box, I have great feet and great speed.

I’m a sharp-shooter, accurate and I have power too. You might not worry about my power, but I’ll hurt you.

Is growing up in Brooklyn these days still rough?

I’m still in the hood, but I’m not in the hood I grew up in. There’s a hood everywhere in Brooklyn. You could be in a nice place in Brooklyn and still be in or near the hood.

It’s tough but I’m not into that or around that anymore. I’m making money now; my friends are millionaires now—everyone has grown up.

The streets are the streets but I’m a professional boxer so I have to move a certain way. I’m just focused on being one of the greatest boxers and taking my family away from that forever.

Will you knock Alejandro Munera out on Saturday night?

From the videos he looks big and like a real durable guy, but I don’t believe he’ll be taking what I’m bombing out. Eight rounds is a whole lot of time to be taking punishment.

For a closer look at Wilder vs Breazeale, check out our fight night page. 

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