A world title shot is possibly at stake as Matchroom stars Richardson Hitchins and Jose Zepeda throw down Saturday in a super lightweight match that takes place in Orlando on DAZN.
For Hitchins, it represents the toughest test of his fledgling career while Zepeda — who has shared the ring with Regis Prograis — can remind everyone what he's about should he score his biggest win since out-pointing Jose Pedraza in 2019.
"Zepeda says that I have never fought at this level," Hitchins said in a statement sent to ProBox TV. "But he is forgetting that I was a kid at 22 years old with only ten professional fights and beating guys like Argenis Mendez, a guy who had already won a world title, and for every fight after that, I told anybody and everybody who they put me in the ring with that isn’t on a world championship level that it is a step down."
Hitchins then downplayed Zepeda's record by saying he's never fought anyone who possesses his athleticism or skillset. "They’re all one-dimensional guys," he said.
"There’s a reason why I’m here after 16 fights. I’m a very smart fighter. He’ll figure that out when I open up on him. You will see that on Saturday night."
The 25-year-old continued: "I can’t say that I’m looking at this as a tough test, but it is a test because Jose Zepeda got here by being a great boxer. But … I don't make mistakes."
Zepeda, meanwhile, said he feels that, even aged 34, he remains in his prime years as an athlete and a boxer.
Regardless, he's not underestimating Hitchins. 'He’s a fast fighter and the best prospect out there at 140. I know for a fact that if I beat him, I’m going straight back to the top for a world title shot. So, that’s what I’m looking for and to fight once again for a world title.
“In the fights I have seen of him, he is a talented fighter and a good prospect – but he hasn’t been at this level yet.
"That’s why in this fight we are going to see if he can work under pressure. There are levels. Trust me when I fought for a world title for the first time against [Jose Carlos] Ramirez, the first time I got hit to the body I knew that it was a different level. It’s different stuff.
"So, let’s see what it’s all about and see how he handles things on Saturday night."