Unbeaten American Richardson Hitchins returns to the ring for his second fight of 2023 next month with a tough match-up against former world title challenger Jose Zepeda in Orlando.
This is a step up in class for Hitchins, who now fights for Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable having previously been signed to Mayweather Promotions, and a victory would move him closer to challenging for a world title for this first time.
|What||Richardson Hitchins v Jose Zepeda|
|Where||Caribe Royale Orlando, Orlando|
|When||03:00 Sunday, 24th September, 2023|
|How to watch||DAZN|
|Odds||Richardson Htichins 1/3, Jose Zepeda 9/4|
The fight is due to take place on Saturday 23rd September in Florida, USA, meaning it will be held in the early hours of Sunday morning for UK viewers on 24th September.
The bout is taking place at the Caribe Royale Orlando in Orlando. The venue is primarily an upscale Caribbean-inspired hotel situated close to Walt Disney World and SeaWorld but it also holds conventions and sporting events, including a number of boxing and UFC cards.
The fight will be shown on streaming service DAZN for viewers in the UK. Hitchins vs Zepeda is not a PPV event but DAZN does require a subscription fee, which is available on a month-by-month basis.
There are no world titles up for grabs in this super lightweight match-up but Hitchins is putting his IBF North American belt on the line and the winner will also claim the vacant WBC Silver title.
Regis Prograis is currently in possession of the main WBC title and Subriel Matías holds the IBF version, which is referred to as the light welterweight title by that governing body.
Hitchins has a perfect record with 16 wins in as many attempts since making his debut in 2017 with a first round stoppage of Mario Alberto Perez Navarro.
The Brooklyn-native, who represented his parent's homeland of Haiti at the 2016 Olympics, has since claimed six further stoppage wins and he was last in action in February with a unanimous decision win over John Bauza.
Hitchins' first win of real note came in 2019 when he outpointed Kevin Johnson, who had just one defeat in eight fights prior to that loss, and he followed that up with decision wins over fighters with winning records in Nicholas DeLomba, Argenis Mendez and Malik Hawkins.
The 25-year-old claimed his IBF North American title by stopping Yomar Alamo in the eighth round in November 2022 and then went on to claim the biggest victory of his career by seeing off the previously unbeaten Bauza in his first defence.
Hitchins had to settle for a points win in that clash at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York but he did knock Bauza down twice.
Zepeda is a vastly experienced southpaw who has challenged for world titles previously and has some impressive names on his CV.
The California native has 36 wins in a 39-fight career, losing the other three contests, and 27 of his wins have come inside the distance - giving him a 75% knockout rate.
Zepeda's first loss came in 2015 as he faced Terry Flanagan for the vacant WBO World lightweight title in Manchester but that defeat came in unfortunate circumstances. After a competitive and entertaining first two rounds, he was unable to continue after the second due to a dislocated shoulder.
The 34-year-old responded to that blow by embarking on a seven-fight winning run - which included an eye-catching fifth round win over the previously undefeated Carlos Diaz in Mexico - before that streak was brought to an end.
Zepeda challenged Jose Ramirez for the WBC Super lightweight but lost via a majority decision in what was a close battle.
Zepeda bounced back with a win over Jose Pedraza and claimed a sensational fifth round victory over Ivan Baranchyk in 2020 as he managed to fight back after being knocked down four times.
The southpaw earned another world title chance in 2022 but he was stopped in the 11th round by Prograis.
After that loss, Zepeda made a comeback in March by beating Neeraj Goyat on points and a win over Hitchins could see him earn another chance to become a world champion.