Richardson Hitchins is now a world title contender.
The 2016 Haitian Olympian shut two-time world title challenger Jose Zepeda in their junior welterweight fight from Caribe Royale in Orlando, Flordia, which was broadcast on DAZN. The bout showed two things - 1) Hitchins is a force in the division as he can balance distance control with good footwork making him a complex problem for fighters to solve, and 2) will fans follow his career. The latter comes from the fact that Hitchins uses tremendous skill to win his fights, but they seem to be at the world-class level looking to be fights that will go twelve rounds. Fans often like knockouts until a fighter accomplishes enough for the fans to be interested.
For Hitchins, his journey to the top might require more risk as he doesn't appear to be armed with the power that draws the fans in, but he has the talent to be a boxing superstar.
Hitchins from start to finish outboxed Zepeda as it was a demonstration in boxing from the outside. The rounds seemingly repeated and looked similar as Hitchins was in clear control. Zepeda would look to take chances, but Hitchins had the answers.
As the fight progressed, Hitchins continued to outland Zepeda by using his weapon of choice the jab. A notable moment was in the fourth round when Hitchins targeted Zepeda's right eye, causing visible damage, which put some doubt into the mind of Zepeda about if he could win the fight.
Despite the will of Zepeda, it was the skill of Hitchins that was the story of the fight. Hitchins, who had been fighting infrequently until signing with Matchroom Boxing is looking to be a blue-chip prospect and future world champion with this performance against a reputable opponent.
The judges scored the bout 120-108, 120-108, and 119-109.
Now the question will follow - what is next?
Devin Haney appears to be fighting the WBC junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis on December 9th in San Francisco, California. The potential winner of that fight might be an interesting fight for Hitchins. Other potential interesting fights would be with Matchroom Boxing's Dalton Smith or Reshat Mati.