Craig Richards wins Southern Area title after tight points victory over Alan Higgins at York Hall
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 18/03/17 12:05am
Craig Richards claimed the Southern Area super-middleweight title with a narrow points victory over Alan Higgins.
The south Londoner withstood an early assault from Higgins and his cleaner punches caught the eye of referee Jeff Hinds, who scored it 97-95 in favour of Richards at York Hall in Bethnal Green.
Both fighters enjoyed success in the opening round, with Richards pumping out his range-finding jab, while Higgins would fire back with his own clubbing punches.
This aggressive start from Higgins continued into the second round as he bullied Richards to the ropes and the Kentish town fighter rammed in more punches from close quarters in the third.
But Richards was producing the crisper work, showboating after a flashy array of shots in the fifth, and then landed a jolting uppercut in the sixth.
Higgins would pounce on Richards when he backed to the ropes, while 'Spider' preferred to work at range, lashing in punches with his longer limbs.
With the fight in the balance, both men stood and traded in the ninth round, and Higgins hammered away as Richards was briefly trapped in a corner.
But Richards controlled the final round on the front foot and lifted his first professional title with a narrow decision victory.