Darren Richardson isn’t a household name yet, but many people in boxing circles around Richardson's home in the North East of England are tipping the undefeated puncher for great things.
The 23-year-old boasts a 71% knockout ratio, winning five of his seven professional fights by brutally stopping his opponent.
And he has a good setup around him, the super lightweight brawler is promoted by the experienced Phil Jefferies, whose son Tony won an bronze medal in the light heavyweight division at the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.
The Orthodox boxer won the British Board of Boxing Control Northern Area title in a fiery clash against Teesside’s Ross Jameson in May 2017, in what proved a thriller for fight fans in attendance.
Speaking to Bad Left Hook, Richardson said, “My last fight against Jameson was my hardest. I didn’t feel right on the day, nothing felt right. Luckily, I got through it and managed to stop him in the sixth round."
Richardson, a Sunderland Association Football Club fan, recently spoken of a desire to fight fellow Briton Conor Benn – the son of former two-weight world champion Nigel Benn, which could bring national attention to Darren’s fledgling career.
However, the Thornley-born fighter is first targeting another prestigious belt to add to his growing collection.
"I’m boxing again next March, then hopefully looking towards the English title after that — either an eliminator or fighting for it outright."
The 5’ 9’ fighter trains under the knowledgeable David Binns in East Durham, England with stablemates Warren Baister and Glenn Foot.
But Richardson, by his own admission, received a moderate amateur schooling.
"I didn’t have much an amateur career, I had 27 fights and was beaten in five times but I did win a national title and reached the semi-finals of the ABA’s.
"It wasn’t a big amateur career but it was a decent one, if you know what I mean. Quality over quantity."
A big fan of the technicality and style of Venezuelan WBA world lightweight titleholder Jorge Linares, Richardson spoke candidly about why he decided to enter the unforgiving world of boxing.
“I was bullied pretty badly from a really young age, that’s what got me into boxing – I had to learn how to defend myself. I watched Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather box and after that I wanted to do it, to be able to stick up for myself."