May 1st is rushing relentlessly towards international boxing
May 1st is rushing relentlessly towards international boxing. It will be a night that no boxing fan will ever forget because it will be the night world boxing is introduced to Craig ‘Spider’ Richards. We spoke to Richards at the end of another day of a relentless training camp. We discussed his training progression, what he thinks of the card he is fighting on, and how he reacted to the bookies’ long odds against him.
“Today was mostly physio work, we have had a really heavy week and recovery is important. The taper does not start till fight week which gives us another week of training until then”.
Craig has been sparring intensely in the past week. His sparring partners have included some of the most skillful fighters in Britain, including Viddal Riley. Sparring will give Richards a technical ability that not even Bivol can break down.
“Sparing is all about implementing what we have been working on. We select sparring partners for what will be useful in the fight. We also use sparring to train against different styles.”
The Craig Richards Dmitry Bivol fight is on one of the most exciting cards to come this year in world boxing. It will be a fantastic night of boxing in which three titles will be decided. The night will bring a mass audience to Richards’ intelligent style of boxing, and gather respect for his sponsor Lewis.
“The night will boost my profile, and people will see what I am about. The opportunity to demonstrate my skills is very exciting.”
“Lewis are very happy with the increased brand awareness the night will bring. They deserve it!”
“The pressure of the audience will not affect my mentality. I have been in a lot of big fights. Careers are at stake and I have met the pressure many times. If anything I am more confident this time as I have done all the preparation. I have been more active and I have the confidence and momentum that Bivol won’t.”
On fight week Richards will be moving into a hotel bubble with all the other fighters on the card, including Bivol. Richards will have to deal with more face-to-face contact with his opponent in fight week than usual. Will the added pressure affect Richards’ calm and collected nature?
‘It was a similar situation when I fought Shakan Pitters. I am used to it and it will just be another day in the office for me. I am not thinking about any mind games or mental battles. It is a small factor that I cannot let affect my preparation. I will cross that bridge when I come to it.’
Richards has always been the underdog in this fight. But the latest odds for the fight are an incredibly long 12/1 for Richards to win. Was Richards surprised by the bookies’ refusal to show faith in him?
‘I have proven the bookies wrong a lot. They have probably lost a lot of money on me. They must be tired of seeing my name by now!
After such a gruelling training camp, nothing can stop Richards from taking his deserved world title. ‘Three times I have been the underdog, three times I have come out on top’. If Bivol dares to become complacent, the spider is ready to pounce on May 1st.