Richardson Hitchins and Malik Hawkins couldn’t wait to fight on Friday, as the pair of Mayweather Promotions stablemates got into a scuffle on the scales during their weigh-in.

Hitchins and Hawkins couldn’t really bring that same energy into the ring Saturday night, as their evenly matched fight was a calculated chess match that ultimately favored the savvier Hitchins, who cruised to a unanimous decision win in a ten-round fight that was contracted to take place at 144-pounds Saturday at The Armory in Minneapolis.

The scorecards were all over the place, however, as one judge had it 100-90, a score that reflected the action that took place in the ring. The two other judges puzzlingly had it at 97-93 and 96-94 a piece, but the correct fighter ultimately prevailed. 

"My strategy was to box him and make it easy,” said Hawkins. “I knew he was strong, but I hurt him in the fight. I just wanted to make it an easy fight because I knew he was too slow to outbox me. I knew his new coaches were going to train him to walk me down.

"When we had the altercation yesterday, I did it on purpose. I knew that by making him mad, he was just going to try to come forward and take me out.

"I'm definitely coming for the strap. I had a lot of ring rust after my longest layoff in boxing ever. I just want to get back in the ring and stay active." 

The rare matchup pitted two prospects in their prime, and the elusive and crafty Hitchins (13-0, 5 KOs) was the active and accurate fighter who dictated terms of the fight with speed by picking and popping his jab as he pleased.

Hitchins outlanded Hawkins every round of the fight, and the final tally totaled 159 to 69 – 85 of the punches were jabs. Hawkins threw more punches – 384 to 355 – but landed at just 18% compared to 44.5% by Hitchins. 

Punches with bad intentions were few and far between in the fight, as neither fighter came close to hurting one another. But it was the 24-year-old Brooklyn-based Hitchins, a 2016 Haitian Olympian, who put on the high-level boxing performance with a smooth and sharp jab and deft defense. 

Hawkins (18-2, 11 KOs) couldn’t change the tone or pace of the fight throughout the first half, and before the sixth round, Hitchins had already outlanded Hawkins 72 to 37, primarily with the jab.

Hitchins got better and stronger as the fight progressed. He started landing more, topping above 20 punches in rounds five, seven and eight.

By the seventh round, Hitchins started taking control of the fight and really asserted himself by hammering Hawkins with heavy combinations. Hawkins appeared fatigued and even fell to the ground due to a slip. 

When Hawkins tried pressing the action further in the later rounds, Hitchins boxed around him and left his foe frustrated. Hawkins couldn’t really catch the head of Hitchins, as half of his damage came to the body. 

The 24-year-old Baltimore-bred Hawkins suffered his second consecutive loss. He had last fought in October 2020 and suffered his first professional defeat via sixth-round stoppage to Subriel Matias. 

The fight was televised as a PBC on FS1 main event. The broadcast was a separate precursor to the FOX televised super middleweight scrap between David Morrell and Alantez Fox.

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on