Craig Richards and Andre Sterling are set to meet on Friday at York Hall in a final eliminator for a shot at the British light heavyweight title, and the two recently had a verbal confrontation that has left Richards seeking a knockout win.
“He was saying ‘don’t let the occasion get to me,’ but I’ve been in these occasions multiple times,” said Richards. “I’ve been in these big fights, I’ve been in these grudge matches. I’m used to these occasions now. He’ll be under a lot of pressure now. There are a lot of people from around the area coming, so he really needs to perform. He’ll try to fight his heart out and try to come forward, but it’s just not going to be enough. He knows it’s sink or swim.
“We’re looking for a knockout hopefully. I’m punching harder every fight. I’ve moved up properly to light heavyweight, I’ve got everyone out within three rounds and I just hope to continue a good winning streak. I believe that if I’m going to move on to where I want to be then I need to be beating opponents like him, so it’s a good test for me at this stage of my career.”
Richards (14-1, 8 KO) stopped Jake Ball in the third round in February, while Sterling (10-0, 4 KO) is coming off of a decision win over Ricky Summers, also in February.
“For Andre, this is his world title shot. He’s not too far from me in London, he’s a local boy around my area so this is everything to him. It’s got the spice and the twists to it. For me, I just look at it as business,” Richards said. “I look at it from a more professional aspect. He’s just another opponent and I’ve got to get the job done. He’s going to come and he’s going to bring it but it’s for me to go out there and show my class and show how good I am and where I’m destined to be.
“He’s been calling the fight on and I don’t duck any challenges. I answered the call and we’re getting it on. He’s been wanting this fight for a long time. A lot of people have told me he’s been talking about fighting me for years. I don’t know what goes on in his head, I don’t know what people tell him. I think he’ll definitely regret what he’s said about me.”