Richardson Hitchins says he’s too good to feel pressure in headlining for the first time in his career on Saturday night – and will put on a dazzling performance against Jose Zepeda to prove it, as they clash at Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida, live worldwide on DAZN.
Hitchins (16-0 7 KOs) is bearing down on the champions at 140lbs, and victory over former World title challenger Zepeda (37-3 28 KOs) would see the Brooklyn ace knocking on the door for a crack at the belts.
The 25 year old joined promoter Eddie Hearn in visiting the School of Hard Knocks gym in Orlando to impart their wisdom on aspiring young fighters, and seeing the work done in the community by the gym reminded Hitchins of how far he’s come from humble beginnings to the edge of glory.
“I don’t really feel the pressure of headlining,” said Hitchins. “I was born to do this; I’m made for it. I think that there’s always been pressure for me for day one, but I handle it because I am confident in my ability and in who I am. I am a special fighter; at the end of the day, it’s boxing and I truly believe I’m one of the best out there.”
“Every opportunity is important, so I am looking at this fight like I have all my previous fights, it’s must-win. If you can master boxing and you can conquer the world, and that’s what I am in the sport for, to be at the very top.
“From starting out to headlining on Saturday it’s been a crazy journey. I think back to being a kid that walked into a boxing gym after seeing Marcus Browne in the 2012 Olympics, I was probably 14, and following that was my first short-term goal to go to the Olympics.
“From there, to signing with Mayweather Promotions, fighting on Showtime, beating a former World Champion in Argenis Mendis, and now headlining my first show; it’s just destiny when you look at it.
“When you are chasing a dream and you are on that journey, it’s easy for people to doubt you or think you aren’t that guy. There are always things on the outside that you may have to overcome, but when you have my focus, your eyes set on that goal, all you must do is focus on that because the storm always ends, and you will get to the sunshine.
“My family was homeless, I have come from a tough beginning, but I always knew boxing would be a way out. I am making sure that me and my family never have to go back to days that I couldn’t help. Period. I think I have a gift and I am using that to make like better for them. I’m able to help and the more I master my craft, I will use it to achieve more and more inside and outside the ring.”