Crystal Palace light-heavyweight Craig Richards: People underestimate my punch power

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Craig “Spider” Richards picked up the first belt of his career as he stopped Jake Ball in three rounds on Saturday’s show at Greenwich’s 02 Arena.

The Crystal Palace light-heavyweight put his opponent down in every round before referee Steve Gray waved off the contest.

Photograph by Keith Gillard

Richards, 28, claimed the vacant WBA continental title – putting himself in that organisations’s top-15 world rankings.

The South Londoner has 14 wins and just one loss – when he challenged then British champion Frank Buglioni at short notice.

Photograph by Keith Gillard

“He [Ball] said he wanted to meet me in the middle of the ring, I came there and he changed his mind,” Richards told the South London Press. “I went out there and executed the job.

Photograph by Keith Gillard

“I hit very hard, people don’t understand that. Because of my body shape, people don’t believe I hit as hard as I do. It’s only when you share the ring with me that you understand that.

Photograph by Keith Gillard

“I know how strong I am at light-heavyweight. I know how much power I’ve got and I’ve always had a good chin – I’ve never been hurt in the amateur or professionals.”

Photograph by Keith Gillard

Richards is keen for title fights but does not expect to be taking on Croydon’s Joshua Buatsi any time soon.  Buatsi is boxing Liam Conroy for the vacant British belt on March 23 at the Copper Box Arena.

“He’ll do his thing and I’ll do my thing,” said Richards. “I want big title fights. I’ll sit down with my team and see what is available.”