March the 28th 2020 was set to be a big date in the career of Craig Spider Richards. This was the day arranged for the fight between Richards and Shakan Pitters at the Coventry Skydome. The British light-heavyweight title was on the line and it was the chance Richards had been waiting for and a much sought after title.
The fight was due to be screened live on Channel 5 and therefore every boxing fan in the United Kingdom would have been able to watch Richards in action and possibly lift the belt. However, in an unfortunate turn of events, Richards has been withdrawn from the fight by his team because he picked up a flu virus.
At the time of writing, the fight is still 18 days away and Richards has already made almost a full recovery. However, the main problem is the fact that Richards has now missed two weeks gym training and that cannot be recovered. Speaking following the announcement, the Spider said, “After two weeks out of the gym with a flu virus my manager and trainer Peter Sims has made a decision that I objected to, but I understand it’s for my own health to pull me out of the fight against Shakan Pitters for the British Title on 28th March.”
Reading that comment, it is clear Richards would like to have continued with the fight as planned but his team have decided otherwise. Any boxer worth their salt would like to fight for the British light-heavyweight title and it is easy to see why Richards did not want to pull out of the contest himself. However, in this type of situation it is best for the medical and training team to make the decision on behalf of the boxer and it is probably the right choice given the circumstances.
Chad Sugden has stepped in to replace Richards in the fight and it is a dream scenario for the Newark man who was originally due to feature on the undercard. Richards knows Sugden well having stepped into the ring with him last December at the York Hall. The fight ended in a draw but perhaps this was not the first and only time the two boxers will meet in their career.
Despite the obvious blow of having to pull out of this contest against Pitters, Richards will still have an opportunity to box for the British light-heavyweight title. As Richards’ doctor provided the relevant paperwork to the British Boxing Board of Control, he will remain the mandatory challenger and will fight the winner of Pitters and Sugden.
So, despite this set back there is plenty of light at the end of the tunnel for Richards. The Spider will be able to show what he can do and attempt to win the British light-heavyweight title in the near future.