Brooklyn native Richardson Hitchins boasts a calm demeanor on the outside, but in the ring the nineteen-year-old exudes a level of confidence that foreshadows a bright future for him in the sport of boxing. A neighborhood friend who loved to fight first introduced Hitchins to boxing at 12-years old. As a kid, he thought nothing of it as his interest was geared more toward music. Despite his friends telling him that he would become a fighter one day, it wasn’t until Hitchins recalls watching Floyd Mayweather on WWE in 2008, that he decided he was either going to box or take on karate.
Growing up, Hitchins and his family didn’t have much money, however his mother did what she could as a single mother for her young son. Hitchins and his mother set out to find a karate gym in his neighborhood. After searching and no luck finding a karate gym, Hitchins and his mother found Atlas Cops and Kids boxing gym. Unbeknownst to her, the gym Hitchins would soon call home, Atlas Cops and Kids, would eventually become a safe-haven for him keeping him off the rough streets of Brooklyn and build him into a future Olympian.
His coach told him he had to be in the gym every day, so that’s what he did and he never looked back. Hitchins found boxing to become his therapy, he competed and placed in several tournaments, ultimately playing a part in building the young fighter’s confidence. Hitchins is a former two-time golden glove champion, silver glove nationalist, he won ringside nationals twice, and the Jr. gold glove nationals twice. He was also a Jr. Olympics qualifier placing 5th, and silver in the world qualifications to get to the Olympics.
At 18-years old Hitchins was faced with a hard choice after not getting picked up to fight for team USA for the 2016 Rio Olympics. At that point, Hitchins felt he did all he could as an amateur fighter, and turning pro was the only choice for his career. He was advised by Olympic silver medalist and best friend, Shakur Stevenson to wait and stick around. Two weeks before the Olympics Hitchins had a plane ticket and was on his way to represent his parent’s home country, team Haiti. He thanks former Olympian Andre Berto who represented team Haiti in the 2004 Olympics, for believing in him and buying his ticket to compete in the world games. Hitchins went into the Olympics strong, however he wasn’t successful in bringing home gold, as he came up short against team USA’s Gary Russell Jr.
After winning so many amateur tournaments, and having experienced the 2016 Olympic games, he knew he would not return to the amateurs. Acknowledging that his style surpassed amateur style fighting Hitchins decided to turn pro.
Hitchins has been fortunate enough to gain invaluable experience, having sparred and trained with several world champions such as: Terence Crawford (current WBO, WBC, and Ring super lightweight champion), Sadam Ali (title contender and 2008 United States Olympian), Luis Collazo (former WBA welterweight champion), and current IBF Jr. Lightweight champion and stablemate Gervonta Davis. These experiences in combination with his embedded boxing ability are what catapulted Hitchins to the attention of Mayweather Promotions President, Floyd Mayweather.
Hitchins made an outstanding professional debut with a first round TKO after one minute and thirty-three seconds against Mario Perez, in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York at The Barclays Center. The irony behind his professional and Olympic debut comes from a Facebook post Hitchins put on his account years ago, when he wrote “If only I could fight in the Olympics and make my debut at Barclays.” The quiet and calm Hitchins has accomplished many things in his career and looks to become a world champion.