Home Boxing News Jose Zepeda warns Richardson Hitchins that there are levels to this game

Jose Zepeda warns Richardson Hitchins that there are levels to this game

Richardson Hitchins and Jose Zepeda. Photo credit: Ed Mulholand/Matchroom Boxing

Three-time world title challenger Jose ‘Chon’ Zepeda 37-3 (28) believes his big fight experience will be the difference when he faces Richardson Hitchins 16-0 (7) at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida on Saturday night.

Although he has come up short in world title fights, the 34-year-old Californian southpaw came within a whisker of defeating Jose Carlos Ramirez 28-1 (18) for the WBC 140-pound title in 2019 when he had to settle for a majority decision loss and lasting until the 11th round in a fight for the same belt against Regis Prograis 29-1 (24) last November.

Zepeda rates Hitchins, but says he is being moved too quickly for this stage of his career.

“In the fights I have seen of him, [Hitchins] is a talented fighter and a good prospect – but he hasn’t been at this level yet,” Zepeda said. “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 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.”

Not surprisingly New Yorker Hitchins, 25, thinks Zepeda is the right opponent at the right time.

“Jose Zepeda says that I have never fought at this level,” Hitchins said. “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.

“Jose Zepeda has fought a lot of professional fights but also, he doesn’t have that on his record. Also, he’s fought a lot of guys who don’t have the athleticism or the same skillset than what I bring to the table. They’re all one-dimensional guys.

“You know, guys like Ivan Baranchyk, who was one of his best wins, but that guy was nothing. He had no fundamental skills at all in the ring. When he gets in the ring with me this Saturday, it doesn’t matter how many fights he’s had or whether he’s been in with Jose Ramirez.

“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.

“Everything he says when he talks about levels, he’s fought people like Josue Vargas who he talked his way into the fight. I fought my way into this fight and I have dominated everybody who has been put in front of me. He will be in a tough fight. I’m going to be around here for a long time.

“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 guys like Baranchyk made mistakes against him, so he won. But he can’t do that with me because I don’t make mistakes.”