After a busy 2014, the Plymouth Pugilist fought just once last year – April – and steps into the ring this weekend for the first time since.
“Boxing had to take a bit of a backseat last year,” the likable cruiserweight admitted to www.uko-boxing.com. “After my last fight, I was offered a job with one of my best friends. I was on good money but working long hours, so I could never commit to training as I’d either be too tired or working.
“I was wondering where I was going in boxing but then a few months ago I got a better paid job with less hours, so I could get back to training and commit after work. I’ve been in the gym a while now.
“Training has gone really well considering I only came back at the end of October. Things couldn’t have gone better; I’m stronger than before and I think that’s because of the labour intensive job I am in. My fitness is spot on and I know I can do more than the six rounds, which is pleasing.”
Richards returns against a man he beat twice as an amateur – Wolverhampton’s Joshua Burke. The 23 year-old beat Burke by a solitary point on both occasions and is expecting another close fight albeit this time in the professional ranks.
That said, the hometown scrapper believes it’s a fight he is capable of winning as the pair put friendships to one side.
“I get on well with Joshua,” Richards confirmed. “He’s a nice lad and we are friendly outside the ring but I know he will want to take my head off come Saturday!
“He’s tall, wiry, strong, and was suited to the pro style when we boxed as amateurs. I hear he has progressed well as a professional boxer, so it will be a close fight.
“I’m expecting an absolute battle because of my style. Many fighters say ‘expect a war’ but they like to ping around the ring and pot around; my style forces anyone to stand there and fight. Fighters know I can stand there and trade, and take their best shots, so I know Joshua won’t be able to knock me out.
He’s a decent boxer so I’m guessing his plan will be to try and outpoint me but he’ll be sucked into my fight, and that’s what I want. I can’t wait for Saturday; it will be explosive!”
Plymouth’s Chris Adaway tops the bill against Londoner Danny Parsons for the British Challenge Super Lightweight Title whilst fellow Plymouth boxer, super middleweight, Cristian Hoskin-Gomes, takes on Stoke’s Mark Till.
Plymouth resident Darren ‘The Terminator’ Townley will be looking to make it a hat-trick of professional victories when the super lightweight takes on Luton’s Duane Grimes.
Plymouth’s Ben Zacharwiz (lightweight), Ross Roberts (super lightweight), Jack Bellingham (welterweight) and Louis Aitken (super lightweight) complete the card.
Tickets are £30 or £60 Ringside and are available by calling: 07578 584 305. Doors open at 6:30pm with boxing commencing at 7:30pm at Plymouth Guildhall, Armada Way, Plymouth, PL1 2AA.