Richardson Hitchins believes he’s on the road to stardom

Richardson Hitchins is loaded with ability, he insists. He has just needed a platform to demonstrate it.

The 140-pound contender from Brooklyn has a big one on Saturday night at Fontainebleau Las Vegas, where he’ll take on Gustavo Lemos in an IBF title eliminator (DAZN).

Hitchins, 26, sees it as just another step toward stardom.

“I think I am a star already and superstar status comes with me promoting myself, making the best of my opportunities and getting to that superstar status,” he said on Matchroom’s “Flash Knockdown” podcast. “My name is buzzing already as if I am a world champion.

“People put me in these fantasy fights like, ‘I want to see Richardson Hitchins vs. Devin Haney, vs. Subriel Matias,’ and this is just in a year that I’ve been with Matchroom. Once I’ve had a little bit of exposure to the boxing fans, my name is on the scene.

“So I feel like slowly but surely, people are seeing my talent and that will turn me into the superstar that I want to be once I get my hands on the world championships and big fights.”

Hitchins (17-0, 7 KOs) is coming off a breakthrough victory, a near-shutout decision over three-time title challenger Jose Zepeda in September.

He’s now ranked by three of the four major sanctioning bodies, No. 3 by the IBF. That organization’s Nos. 1 and 2 positions are vacant, which means he’s the top contender for Subriel Matias’ title.

Lemos (29-0, 19 KOs) is a 28-year-old from Argentina who is best known for stopping former 126-pound titleholder Lee Selby in March 2022, although he has never fought outside his native country.

Hitchins is confident things will go well in what he sees as a significant opportunity: Fighting as a headliner on a major card.

“I feel good, I feel ready for the moment,” he said. “This is what I’ve been doing my whole life. This will just be another day in the ring for me and picking up another victory. That’s what we plan to do on Saturday.

“This is big, I’m not going to lie. It’s a huge opportunity. When I first fought on a Matchroom card in Ohio (in 2022) I said, ‘I’m supposed to be the main event right now.’ And I don’t even think it was a year later that I was headlining my first card.

“I felt Matchroom was giving opportunities to fighters that were on a lesser level than me, and I felt I belonged at the level where I was headlining my own cards and be on the verge of a world title.

“I proved myself slowly but surely that I belong with the elite guys in the division, and now is the time to stamp my name in the division and in the sport.”

Hitchins doesn’t have a style that appeals to fans who crave action. The 2016 Olympian, who competed for his parents’ native country of Haiti, is a polished technician.

He’s committed to the hit-and-not-be-hit approach to boxing. That has worked for him, as all but one of his victories have come by unanimous decision or stoppage. And most observers believe his split decision over veteran Argenis Mendez in 2020 should’ve been unanimous.

Hitchins believes he will win over fans with his dominance.

“I’m one of those fighters that people say, ‘Oh he’s boring,’” he said. “But I’m also one of those fighters that could box a perfect fight and not have a glove landed on me. So I feel like that’s my motto, and I’m sticking to hitting and not getting hit, and elevating my game, that’s what we focus on in camp.

“Everything else is just getting in shape and making sure my body is in physical condition to endure punishment if needed or to go any grueling rounds if that’s what it comes down to.”

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie