Despite being just 25 years of age with only a handful of fights underneath his belt, Richardson Hitchins believes wholeheartedly that his skills warrant consideration for a world title shot. Earlier this month, at the Hulu Theater in New York’s Madison Square Garden, the loquacious and confident 140-pound contender effortlessly backed his words against John Bauza.

As Hitchins continued to dominate round after round, Shakur Stevenson’s smile protruded from his ringside seat. In an effort to prepare himself for the challenges that Bauza presented, Hitchins (16-0, 7 KOs) joined Stevenson in Houston, Texas, to help sharpen his tools. After watching his good friend put it all together, Stevenson’s praise was endless.

“That’s the best I seen him look,” said Stevenson to “He came down and did a great training camp with me. We did a lot of rounds, we had him sharp and he looked great.”

The performance of Hitchins may have turned heads, but it'll likely take much more than a lopsided victory over Bauza for him to get the championship call. Currently, following Josh Taylor’s decision to relinquish his undisputed throne, the 140-pound title landscape remains unresolved.

At the moment, in addition to Taylor holding the WBO crown, Regis Prograis is in possession of the WBC trinket, Alberto Puello is clutching the WBA belt - while the IBF remains vacant. Stevenson, although he’s planted his flag in the lightweight division, has spent countless sparring sessions against some of the best 140-pounders around.

Taking into consideration Hitchins’ sublime defensive acumen, along with his timely offensive game, and Stevenson is convinced that Hitchins has all of the tools needed to strip several fighters of their championship status.

“For sure, I done been in there with some of the best 140 pounders in the world. He definitely beating a lot of dudes that I done been in the ring with.”