Richardson Hitchins readily admits Argenis Mendez is the best opponent he’ll have encountered in 12 professional fights.

The 34-year-old Mendez is a former IBF junior lightweight champion who undoubtedly has boxed better opposition than him. It is the 23-year-old Hitchins, however, who feels Mendez isn’t operating on the same level as him as they head toward a 10-round junior welterweight fight Showtime will televise Saturday night from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

 “Mendez is a better fighter than everybody I’ve fought because Mendez has more experience,” Hitchins explained during an interview with “I feel like the best fighter I’ve fought to date was Kevin Johnson, and Kevin Johnson was a fighter with a lot of experience. He was hungry. I’ve never been in the ring with Mendez, but I don’t feel like Mendez is a thoroughbred.

“I don’t feel like Mendez is gonna bring the fight, where he doesn’t wanna lose. I feel like Mendez has lost really six times, because that first fight with [Rances] Barthelemy, he got knocked out. It was a no-contest, but he really lost that fight. If you’ve lost six times in your career, you’re not gonna bring that grit.”

The Brooklyn-based Hitchins, who represented Haiti at the 2016 Summer Olympics, is even more confident about beating Mendez based on how Mendez performed in his most recent fight. The Dominican veteran’s 10-round majority draw with Juan Heraldez in May 2019 occurred after Hitchins sparred twice against Heraldez (16-1-1, 10 KOs) in Las Vegas prior to that bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

“I thought it was a close fight,” Hitchins said. “I really honestly feel like it was a draw because neither guy really took control of the fight. Mendez came on later on, down the stretch, and he kind of stole the fight in the last round. But you can’t compare Heraldez to me. Heraldez is not as tall as me. He don’t have the reach I got. He doesn’t bring the pedigree that I’m bringing. I’ve been in the ring with Juan Heraldez, and I know he’s not on that level. For Mendez to have a draw with Juan Heraldez, and Juan Heraldez really could’ve won the fight, I know Mendez is nowhere near my level.

“A lot of people don’t know boxing, so a lot of people look at it like, ‘Oh, this is a guy with way more experience and Hitchins is in a fight that might be too soon.’ But I know Mendez is not on my level. And I’m not saying that to sound confident and boost my ego. I know boxing and I know what’s going on in that ring. Mendez’s best chance is to knock me out or to just try to rough me up and make it an ugly fight. And if he try to do that, he gonna run into everything and it’s gonna be an early night. So, he really don’t have no chance in the fight. I just don’t think he’s on my level.”

Hitchins (11-0, 5 KOs), who is promoted by Floyd Mayweather’s company, and Mendez (25-5-3, 12 KOs, 1 NC) will square off in the second fight of Showtime’s tripleheader (9 p.m. EST; 6 p.m. PST).

Brooklyn’s Chris Colbert (14-0, 5 KOs) is set to defend his WBA interim 130-pound championship against Panama’s Jaime Arboleda (16-1, 13 KOs) in the 12-round main event. The show will open with a 10-round middleweight match in which Russian contender Matt Korobov (28-3-1, 14 KOs), of Lantana, Florida, will battle Ronald Ellis (17-1-2, 11 KOs, 1 NC), of Lynn, Massachusetts.

“I feel like it’s a great opportunity because I’m fighting a former world champion, a guy with a name, a guy that boxing people are familiar with,” Hitchins said. “It’s just a great opportunity to show the world what type of level I’m on – if I’m just mediocre, if I’m just OK, or if I do belong up there with the top guys in boxing. I do feel like I belong with the upper echelon in my division. And what I’m gonna show people on Saturday, pure boxing. I feel like I’m one of the best pure boxers of my generation, the young generation coming out. Of all the young fighters coming out, the new guys, I feel like I’m one of the best pure boxers.

“The fans are gonna see real skills, a guy who knows what he’s doing in the ring, a smart boxer. I’m not the most flashy. I’m not gonna throw eight-piece combinations that’s gonna wow you. I’m probably not gonna hit him once, and he’s gonna fall out and go to sleep. But I will dominate. I will dominate the fight with smarts and speed and timing and distance.” 

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.