Boxers Richardson Hitchins and Chris Colbert are fighting on the same card in separate fights, but they’ve come up through the ranks from the start.
Boxers Richardson Hitchins and Chris Colbert are fighting in separate bouts on Showtime’s Saturday, Dec. 12 fight card. Hitchins and Colbert are young fighters on the rise, but they’ve been in each other’s lives from the start of their respective boxing journies.
The Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation and NYC Cops & Kids gym is the setting of many great boxing stories. That’s where Hitchins and Colbert started as teenagers. They had similar reasons for taking up boxing. Both got into lots of fights in school and on the Brooklyn streets, so boxing was a way to sharpen their pugilistic skills. They also found that they housed tremendous boxing potential.
“I think this is a legendary moment,” Hitchins told FanSided. “I think this a symbolic moment because we literally learned the science, the sport together. We walked into the gym at the same time. We fought through every stage of our amateur career, from the first club show fights to the first national tournament to the Golden Gloves to all these graduating steps. We’ve done it. We’ve done it together.”
Hitchins (11-0, 5 KOs) and Colbert didn’t have it easy growing up. They were impoverished and had to fight for survival. They arrived at the boxing gym around the same time when they were about 13 years old. They fell in love with boxing and helped each other mature as young talents.
“For us to come from poverty, coming from nothing and just falling in love with the sport ox boxing and realizing that we had God-given abilities, we just pushed our talents to the limit,” said Hitchins.
Both men achieved great success as amateurs. Colbert elected to turn professional instead of competing at the Olympics, while Hitchins represented Haiti at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Richardson Hitchins has received the support of a lot of fantastic boxing friends and now he’s ready to meet them at the top of the sport
From there, they followed separate paths as professionals, but they come together in a sense on Dec. 12. They have different trainers and are signed to different promoters, but the bond and love from childhood remain.
“We’ll always love each other forever,” said Hitchins about his friendship with Colbert.
Hitchins has an open, magnetic personality that makes him easy to like, which is probably why he has so many friends in the sport. One is lightweight force, Gervonta Davis.
Hitchins knew Davis a little bit from the amateur days, but not well. Davis was older, but when Davis was getting ready for his first title shot against Jose Pedraza, Hitchins and Shakur Stevenson sparred with Davis to help him prepare. Davis ended up stopping Pedraza in the seventh round to win the IBF junior lightweight title.
“We gave him the sparring whenever he wanted, and that’s why he was so grateful and thankful that we did give him that sparring to get ready for the Pedraza fight,” said Hitchins. “After that, we started hanging out.”
Hitchins added about his friendship with Davis, “We kind of realized that we’re into similar things. If you ever been around us, we always laugh and always argue with each other because we kind of like similar people as far as what we’re interested in. We just two people that bond.”
The next big boxing name that entered Hitchins’ life is maybe the best ever, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Hitchins met Mayweather during the Olympics when he was palling around with Stevenson. Hitchins got Mayweather’s number and reached out to him after the games. They stayed in contact, but Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe helped convince Mayweather to sign Hitchins.
“Before I signed with Floyd, Floyd started hearing more and more about me,” recalled Hitchins. “He started knowing my name. Leonard Ellerbe really wanted me. When I was in Gervonta’s press conference with Pedraza, he was telling me ‘You need to sign with us.'”
And that’s history. Hitchins has been signed to Mayweather Promotions ever since, and now he tries to work his way towards a title like friends Colbert, Davis, and Stevenson.
Hitchins has a tough opponent in front of him in former IBF junior lightweight champion Algenis Mendez. Mendez is the biggest test of Hitchins’ career, but he will be surrounded by many of the friends that have been crucial in his development. They say that there’s strength in numbers. If that’s true, then Hitchins will be victorious and on his way to a title shot of his own.
Watch Richardson Hitchins vs. Algenis Mendez on Saturday, Dec. 12, on Showtime. Coverage begins at 9 p.m. CT.