Home Boxing News Richardson Hitchins lucky to remain unbeaten after determined Gustavo Lemos tests him...

Richardson Hitchins lucky to remain unbeaten after determined Gustavo Lemos tests him at every turn

Richardson Hitchins and Gustavo Lemos. Photo credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing

Junior welterweight contender Richardson Hitchins 18-0 (7) was made to dig deep to defeat Gustavo ‘El Electrico’ Lemos 29-1 (19) by 12-round unanimous decision in their IBF final eliminator at the Fontainebleau Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

It was a rough night at the office for Brooklyn’s Hitchins, 26, who came under assault from Lemos from the opening bell and didn’t let up until the final gong.

Hitchins boxed in spots, clinched frequently and occasionally traded on the inside. The problem was that no matter what tactic he employed, the determined and bull-strong Lemos refused to be dissuaded.

In the back half of the fight urgency began to set in for Hitchins. His corner, knowing the fight was close, repeatedly implored him to dig deep and find something extra.

The relentless attack of Argentinean Lemos, 28, looked certain to wear down Hitchins as he had him hurt on multiple occasions. But every time Hitchins felt the tide overwhelming him, he grab hold of Lemos and held on for dear life like a drowning man clutching a life buoy.

Hitchins survived until the final bell in what was clearly a close fight. Most fans and pundits agreed it was a seven rounds to five fight either way and few would’ve argued with a draw. Two of the judges agreed with the consensus opinion. One didn’t.

Judges Max DeLuca and Steve Weisfeld were in agreement that Hitchins was the victor by identical scores of 115-113. Judge Tim Cheatham was apparently watching a different fight, scoring the bout 117-111 for Hitchins.

The outlying score was so egregious that commentator Sergio Mora called it out on the DAZN broadcast. Boxing fans at ringside rained down a chorus of boos that continued well into Hitchins’ post-fight interview.

“I felt like I won the fight. Unanimously. It was a close fight,” Hitchins said.

“I made it close some rounds, but I gave him right hands and I stood there and traded with him because my corner kept telling me the fight is close. But I felt like I was outboxing, landing cleaner shots and boxing smart.

“But he was tough, undefeated, 29-0, in his prime and he come over here to win. He came in shape. He came over to my country to win.

“I felt like I won, but he’s in my country so they gonna try to say he got robbed or whatever. It’s cool. Good fight though.”

According to CompuBox, the fighters were separated by just 11 landed punches by the end of the fight.

Hitchins threw more jabs than power punches and held a 98-22 edge in jabs landed. Lemos threw 325 more power punches than jabs, and held a 139-74 advantage in power punches landed.

Lemos landed 64 body punches that accounted for 40% of his total landed punches and 46% of his landed power punches. After the first six rounds, Hitchins held a 84-66 lead in total punches landed.

Over the second half of the fight, Lemos flipped the advantage, landing 95 punches in rounds 7-12 to 88 for Hitchins.