By: Sean Crose
The co-main event of Saturday night’s Showtime Chris Colbert-Jaime Arboleda card from Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Arena featured the 11-0 lightweight Richardson Hitchins as he faced off against the 25-3-3 Algenis Mendez in a scheduled 10 rounder. Hitchins was clearly the attraction, but the veteran Mendez had plans for the Floyd Mayweather promoted fighter.
Hitchins, with fast, jerky hand movement, started confidently, flicking out his jab effectively right from the opening bell. Mendez, on the other hand, chose to spend the first applying pressure. Hitchins continued to toss off punches in the second. Meanwhile, Mendez began to be able to land effectively. The third saw Mendez continue to pursue his man. Hitchins, however, was clearly throwing with more frequency.
The fight appeared to maintain its momentum in the fourth. Hitchins began to truly engage with his man in the fifth. At least for the moment, the fight had taken on a grinding quality. The sixth saw Hitchins whip out his jab while Mendez chopped away at his opponent’s midsection when possible. Mendez controlled the tempo of the fight in the seventh by pressing the action. By the eighth, however, the tempo was being controlled by Hitchins, thanks to his crisp punching, particularly his jab.
By the ninth, the Mayweather protégé was solidly in control. Mendez was having his moments, but Hitchins’ speed and jabbing were telling the tale of the night. Mendez worked the body hard in the tenth, but it might well have been too little, too late. Hitchins, however, fought as if he might be comfortable with his perceived lead on the scorecards. If that were the case, the New Yorker was right in his assessment. Hitchins walked out of the ring with a SD win, the scores being 97-93, 98-92, and 99-91.