Friday, June 09, 2023  |



My prediction: Richardson Hitchins wins by KO in a few hours

Does DeLomba have far away eyes in this Dave Mandel pic? Is he thinking Hitchins has a VERY impressive skill set?
Fighters Network

I will ask a fighter, especially a young one, do they watch tape on a foe?

And I’m always more impressed when a kid says yep, darn right I do, I love to watch film, of my fights, to see what I can do better, and of all-time greats, to pick up tidbits to add to the repertoire.

I asked this of Richardson Hitchins, fighting tonight on the Mayweather Promotions’ event, as part of a “ShoBox” cablecast.

Hitchins poses for photog Dave Mandel

The 22 year old repped Haiti at the 2016 games, reps the borough of Brooklyn, where he resides, and reps the TMT brand. His record stands at 10-0 (5 KOs), and in a few hours, the New Yorker will face off with 16-2 Nick DeLomba.

So, I asked the favorite–yes, I think Richardson has a considerable hand speed advantage and is a full notch better in the ring generalship department–how he’s changed from his last outing.

That scrap unfolded on ShoBox, also from “Sam’s Town” in Vegas, against 7-1 Kevin Johnson, a Michigan born Vegas resident.

“From the last one to this one, I think I’m smarter, more experienced, went 10 rounds for the first time,” Hitchins said. “There’s still a lot more in me, he hit me with two shots, and I don’t see myself getting hit this time, I’m sharper as a whole.”

Part of that confidence stems from the fact that he’s watched the tango with Johnson a bunch. “A billion times,” he said. “Every detail.” Yeah, the fifth time he watches his last bout, he may well pick up something new, he shared. “Little stuff I need to change.”

In a release which went out Thursday, Hitchins delved more into his last scrap, which unfolded Nov. 1, 2019:

“I think my last fight was a statement. That kid could fight. I may not have been at my best, but I fought a really good fighter. Even Floyd [Mayweather] was surprised that I took that fight, because he told me that kid could really fight. After the fight, I asked Floyd what I could do better. He just told me that there were some technical things I could switch up, but he said that both of us could really fight. I give so much respect to Kevin Johnson. I was able to learn a lot from that match. He’s only lost to two Olympians, so that says a lot about him.

And, yes, he watches some of the greats, too. “A lot of Andre Ward, and Floyd Mayweather,” said the junior welter hitter who is in a support bout to a super lightweight Keith Hunter v Sanjarbek Rakhmanov rematch feature bout. (The show starts at 10:45 PM ET for the TV audience.)

We chatted; I noted that to me, one trait that Ward and Mayweather share is their in-ring eyesight. They both NEVER lost focus, their vision in there was always impeccable and they never stumbled because their mind wandered. Hitchins has and wants to improve even more his ring IQ, and likes the way Ward and Floyd could adjust to any style, or tactic, or strategy switch.

We talked about expectations, and I was thinking about the pull on a fighter, to tweak one’s style, more, or less, to be “fan friendly.” What is Hitchins’ preferred ratio, of focusing on defense, versus offense? Not a surprise for a Mayweather influenced athlete, he said he likes a 65-35 ratio, defense to offense.

Tonight, you will see a guy who moves real smoothly. Focus is an asset, and he mixes speeds on the jab, sometimes stabs it like Floyd does. Watch how he rips in close, keeps those elbows tucked, doesn’t usually get too wide. His body work is quick and slick, expect DeLomba to be annoyed and de-energized because of Hitchins’ high level of accuracy whacking to the torso. Keep an eye on this…Hitchins dropping his left hand. He didn’t dig seeing himself doing that against Johnson.

In DeLomba’s eighth fight, he was stopped by Gledwin Ortiz, then 2-0, and you can assume probably that Hitchins has seen what happened. Unless DeLomba has improved in the mobility department, and improved his footwork, and commitment to movement, his lack of mobility will likely again prove detrimental to him.

In the Showtime release, DeLomba (below, in Dave Mandel photo) spoke on the matchup.

“I feel good at 140 pounds. I’ve even fought at 137 before. I’m comfortable at lighter weights. I fought tough fights coming out the gates. I beat guys as the ‘B side’ fighter. I’ve taken the tough road. I’ve always wanted to fight on SHOWTIME. I made it to Vegas. I made it to SHOWTIME. It’s an honor to have this opportunity. There’s definitely a sense of urgency with this fight. This is make-or-break.”

So, keep an eye on his demeanor, if maybe him seeing this as make or break doesn’t result in some nerves and stiffness.

Back to Hitchins, we talked some about the concept of “going out on your shield,” and I admitted, it’s hard for me, I like to watch an ebb and flow scrap, giving, getting. But, I comprehend and have gotten much, much better over the years, at respecting the fact that these guys have a life to life after their ring stint is done. And fighting a 65-35 ratio is smartest, if one wants to give oneself the best chance of not coming down with CTE symptoms. “We’re the ones taking punches, so it’s different,” Hitchins said.

Camp was rock solid, he went to Colorado Springs, so he expects to give an estimable performance on the Showtime card, against the Rhode Island hitter. Indeed, he said he’s thinking it will be a “spectacular” outing.

“I don’t know too much about him, pretty much that he’s got two losses,” Hitchins said. “DeLomba hasn’t fought anyone at my skill level, I don’t think, maybe in sparring. I wanna definitely get rid of him, get him out of there. I don’t think he’s supposed to be in the ring with me! I’m a young star, in the process…I would be excited to see a fighter like myself and I know the real boxing purists will be!”