Hitchins Defends Hug Fest: “It’s Just Strategy, Like Sugar Ray Leonard and Floyd Did”

By Jeepers Isaac - 04/07/2024 - Comments

Richardson Hitchins (18-0, 7 KOs) is unapologetic after a questionable 12-round unanimous decision over Gustavo Lemos (29-1, 19 KOs) last Saturday night in their IBF light welterweight title eliminator in a Matchroom Boxing show at the BleauLive Theater at Fontainebleau Las Vegas.

When asked about his response to fan criticism about his frequent holding throughout his fight with Lemos, Hitchins said, “I was just trying to neutralize the guy.” The scores were 117-111, 115-113, and 115-113.

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Fans on social media overwhelmingly had Lemos winning the fight last night, with many of them viewing it as a 116-112 [8 rounds 4] win for him.

Hitchins’ “Strategy”: Just a Fancy Word for Cheating

When a fighter’s main defensive strategy is to hold rather than fight, it’s not boxing. It’s cheating, and the referee is supposed to do his job by enforcing the rules to prevent these tactics.

This wasn’t a strategy in terms of real boxing. It was cheating, and it marred the fight. This fight will hurt Hitchins’ popularity because this is his second poor performance after the safety-first effort against Jose Zepeda last September.

The fans wouldn’t have minded if the New Yorker Hitchins had occasionally held Lemos, but what they weren’t willing to put up with was watching him turn the contest into a Greco-Roman wrestling match for 12 rounds. That was terrible to watch.

Hitchins then surprisingly compared himself to past boxing greats Sugar Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather Jr, pointing out that they, too, had used clinching in their fights.

What Hitchins isn’t saying is they weren’t holding excessively the way he did against Lemos, which was the main part of his defense and was ignored by the referee Raul Caiz Jr, who failed to warn, penalize, or disqualify him for his rule infractions.

  • Hitchins’ constant holding ruined the fight
  • The referee should have deducted points and/or disqualified
  • Excessive holding is NOT boxing

Hitchins Compares Himself to Legends

“I was just trying to neutralize the guy. They say the same thing about a lot of guys,” said Richardson Hitchins to the media when asked about the constant holding he was doing against Gustavo Lemos last night in their IBF light welterweight title eliminator.

“They say the same thing about Sugar Ray Leonard when he fought Hagler and when he fought Duran. He would tie up. When Floyd fought Maidana, the commentators were saying, ‘Floyd needs to get warned for holding. Bayless needs them work out,'” said Hitchins in using those fighters as excuse for his excessive hugging.

“So, I just feel like it’s a strategy. I just had to make adjustments to find a way to win and slow him down, and I feel like I did what it takes to get the win,” said Hitchins about him bending the rules by his nonstop holding that he did to prevent Lemos from throwing punches while the passive, non-engaged referee stood by, doing nothing to control the tactics.

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