With 2020 coming to a close, Hennessy Sports are giving fight fans one last show, with a compelling light-heavyweight contest topping the bill.
This Friday night sees Shakan Pitters make the first defence of his British title against Craig Richards, in a light-heavyweight contest.
Pitters and Richards finally get it on for the British light-heavyweight title on Friday night (Photo: boxingnews24.com)
Last time out, Pitters comprehensively outpointed Chad Sugden on his way to a unanimous decision victory, taking that famous Lonsdale Belt back to the West Midlands. Now, the 31-year-old is looking to make a successful first defence of his title this weekend, against his toughest opponent yet, Craig Richards.
Richards has previously fought for the British light-heavyweight title, when he lost to Frank Buglioni over 12 rounds back in 2017. That fight was given to Richards on short notice, and was too early for the Londoner in his young professional career, but Richards showed plenty of heart and put in a good performance, which just wasn’t good enough on the night.
The 30-year-old will have learnt lots from that fight, and will be hopeful of bringing it to the ring with him on Friday in his quest to win the Lonsdale belt at his second attempt.
In Pitters, you have a man who is still a relative baby in terms of professional experience. Having turned professional just three years ago, his rise to British title level can only be admired and respected. A perfect record of 14-0, with four wins coming inside the distance, Pitters has shown he is very much capable of becoming one of the best light-heavyweight’s in Britain.
Pitters won the British title in his last fight against Chad Sugden (Photo: Boxing News)
On the other side of the ring, you have Richards, who believes he will have too much in his arsenal for Pitters come fight night. The ‘Spider’ also boasts an impressive record of 15-1-1, with eight of his wins coming by way of knockout.
On paper, it is really difficult to split the two.
Due to the fact he is undefeated and is the current champion, Pitters will go into the fight as the betting favourite, but not a massive one, as the fight is certainly a tricky one to call.
Standing at 6”1, Richards it normally used to being the bigger man in the ring come fight night. However, that will definitely not be the case at the weekend. The champion stands at 6”6 and is absolutely ginormous for the weight.
Making 175-pounds must be a struggle for Pitters, but he is professional and diligent and hasn’t missed weight once since moving down from cruiserweight. On the other hand, Richards began his career down a division at super-middleweight, so undoubtedly finds it far easier than his opponent to make weight.
One comparison you can draw between the two fighters is that both have faced Chad Sugden.
Last time out, Pitters fought Sugden for the British title, and as previously mentioned, ran out a comprehensive winner on the judges’ scorecards, winning via unanimous decision. It was an impressive display from the Midlands man, which he can draw several positives from ahead of his first defence this weekend.
It wasn’t just as easy for Richards, who could only manage a draw against Sugden. Although this was clearly not Richards at his best, it is difficult to ignore the fact that Pitters dealt with Sugden far better than the ‘Spider’ did. However, as cliché as it sounds, styles make fights in boxing. Who knows what to expect when Richards and Pitters throw down on Friday night.
Richards plans to dethrone Pitters on Friday night and win the British title (Photo: Sky Sports)
If you are looking at the two Sugden performances, then there is only one winner. Pitters will be confident he will make a successful first defence of his British title but will be wary that Richards is as game as they come and has massive aspirations of his own.
Both men have exchanged some words in the build-up to the fight and are both confident they will get their hand raised in victory.
Fingers crossed both men pass their COVID-19 tests, and we get a great fight for the Lonsdale belt on Friday night.
Date: Friday 18th December 2020
Time: Ring walk approx. 22.00
Venue: Fly By Nite Rehearsal Studios, Reddich, Worcestershire
Channel: Channel 5