Sport
Craig Richards back in training

Crystal Palace boxer Craig Richards back in training as title fight looms

Crystal Palace based boxer Craig ‘Spider’ Richards is back in training and back in the zone, ahead of his British light-heavyweight title fight with Shakan Pitters.

The fight is locked in for 14 November and will be broadcast exclusively free-to-air on Channel 5, although the venue remains unconfirmed.

The fight was originally supposed to take place on 28 March, but Richards was struck down with a viral infection which prevented him training, and then the Covid-19 pandemic occurred.  

But last week Lewisham-born Richards started training again and is feeling good.

He said: “Being back in training feels brilliant. I feel like I’m back in my element and I’m back in my zone.

“I was so disappointed that I had to withdraw in March, but ultimately I was so ill and then Covid took over. So I wasn’t happy at all to be honest.

“But I was able to use the pandemic to get myself back where I needed to be in terms of fitness. I also think I needed that time to unwind and to reflect on where I’m at.

“I’m very excited about the fight, it’s been a long time coming.”

The 30-year-old’s last fight was all the way back in December, against fellow British boxer Chad Sugden and it ended in a draw on points.

Richards admitted his disappointment with the result and said complacency played its part after seeing his opponent with a broken nose.

He added: “I definitely was going through the motions somewhat. Really I was too focused looking ahead to this fight.

“This time, I’ve got to focus on winning this fight first and foremost, but then I’ll start looking ahead after that. I’m focused on the British title right now.”

Richards’ record is now 15 wins (including eight knockouts), one draw and one defeat.

That defeat, a unanimous decision, came at the hands of Frank Buglioni in 2017, in Richards’ last British light-heavyweight title fight.

His opponent, Pitters, is undefeated through 14 fights, including a victory over Sugden in August that gave him the British light-heavyweight title that he will defend against Richards.

Craig Richards is sponsored by Scaffold Towers UK.

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