LERRONE RICHARDS: YOU WILL SEE A NEW ME
The strapping super middleweight fights the former WBO Interim world title challenger Tommy Langford for the vacant belt at Wembley, one that he hopes will be the beginning of a short road towards British honours later in the year.
The 26-year-old from New Malden has just three stoppages on his ledger from 11 fights so far and has sometimes been labelled as ‘one for the purists’, with him often being content to unpick his opponents over full distance rather than apply an early finish.
The stylish southpaw, however, is a devoted disciple of the sweet science, although he does acknowledge that his approach has resulted in prospective opponents being a bit thin on the ground.
“Do you know what, I’ve been very, very patient and there have been times when I thought I wasn’t going to get a fight,” admitted Richards, also known as ‘Sniper the Boss’.
“I am just glad I have got this fight and it is time for me to shine. No excuses now. Serious business.
“I am part of the ‘who wants him’ club! It is the sweet science style and people don’t want to fight.”
Richards pondered the question when asked if criticism of him not closing fights out from a dominant position is valid. Commentators have suggested that he tends to enjoy his own work a little too much whilst in the ring.
“It’s a good question,” he conceded. “I just feel that I’ve done what I had to do. I have enjoyed it a lot and people do criticise me for not finishing the show.
“You’ll see a new Lerrone Richards on the night, trust me,” he added, confirming that his own gym-mate Bradley Skeete has also encouraged him over the need to make statement performances in the ring.
“Absolutely, although I think people underrate my punching power because I can hit. I am just a purist and I love the sweet science of boxing. We’ll see what happens on the night.”
Daniel Dubois v Richard Lartey tops the bill at the SSE Arena, Wembley on April 27 on a card that also includes the Commonwealth super middleweight title fight between Lerrone Richards and Tommy Langford, as well as the Southern Area super middleweight title clash between Zak Chelli and Jimmy Smith. WBO European super flyweight champion Sunny Edwards and WBO European super featherweight champion Archie Sharp also feature.
Rangy Super Welterweight talent Hamzah Sheeraz will be back out after his impressive win over Rod Douglas Jnr. Hard hitting middleweight and Peacock gym product Denzel Bentley (9-0) and Belfast amateur middleweight star Caoimhin Agyarko will also return to action. There are Queensberry debuts for unbeaten welterweight Chris Kongo (10-0) and Sheffield middleweight Shakiel Thompson (2-0) – with Thompson being tipped by sparring partner Billy Joe Saunders as a star for the future. Ilford Super Middleweight Umar Sadiq (4-1) also returns as he looks to rebuild after his first career loss. Tunde Ajayi trained lightweight Bilal Ali (1-0) will have his second professional fight after making a successful start to his pro career, with Hoddesdon super lightweight Alfie Price set for his fifth.