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Lerrone Richards Reasserts Himself at 168, Seeks an Edgar Berlanga Fight

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Lerrone Richards has spent the past couple years out of sight and out of mind as far as the world’s top super middleweights are concerned.

Last year the former British, Commonwealth, European and IBO super middleweight titleholder brought a frustrating period of inactivity to an end with a couple of routine victories at light heavyweight. But the skilful Richards is now set to return to the 168-pound division. 

Richards (18-0, 4 KOs) will fight Steed Woodall (18-2-1, 11 KOs) on Wasserman’s show at York Hall on April 12. The fight will be screened live on Channel 5.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who continues to dominate the super middleweight scene, will put his undisputed title on the line against his undefeated Mexican countryman Jaime Munguia on May 4.

Alvarez can’t go on forever, and a group of exciting fighters are gathering just behind and waiting for their opportunity to claim world honors. With Edgar Berlanga, Christian Mbilli, Diego Pacheco and David Morrell all entering their peak years, the super middleweight division could be on the verge of a golden period.

Richards, 31, is keen to reinsert himself into the mix, and he believes he is already the class of the field – especially after a 2021 decision over Carlos Gongora, against whom, Richards says, “people thought I’d get knocked out.” But there is one particular opponent he would be more than happy to prove it against. 

“I like the Berlanga fight,” Richards said. “I think it makes a lot of sense. Pacheco is a little bit behind now, but that’s a lovely fight in the future. Berlanga, though, I think me and him is a lovely fight to make.”

Richards hasn’t boxed at 168 pounds since beating Gongora, and his inactivity has seen him drop out of the top 15 rankings of all major governing bodies.

If he beats Woodall next month, Richards will collect a WBO Inter-Continental title and – given his history – some clever networking and politicking should see him enter the top 10 again relatively quickly. However, experience has taught him that a victory over Woodall and a ranking belt won’t earn him a big fight. Richards knows he is going to have to force the issue.

“Once I beat Gongora, I was in the top 10 with Ring Magazine and nobody wanted to fight me,” he said. “It’s just about me pushing on and getting highly ranked with a governing body so that people have no choice but to fight me.”

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