With five stoppages from his first five fights Ruislip’s Dean Richardson is beginning to draw quite a bit of attention. While his fledgling career to date may be taking a familiar route for a novice pro with relatively non-threatening opposition as he learns his trade, it is the way he has dismissed that opposition that has raised eyebrows, and it won’t be long before he’ll be raising the stakes too.
Managed by Steve Goodwin, the highly likeable 22 year old is relishing his next step as he prepares to take on Czech Jan Balog (11-40-1) on the Hayemaker Ringstar Fight Night at York Hall on Friday 16th, and many will be watching closely to see how Richardson deals with the usually sturdy Balog. Televised by Dave TV and headlined by Olympic silver medallist Joe Joyce, the action-packed show also includes a terrific English title clash between John O’Donnell and Tamuka Mucha, and Richardson is determined to make an impression all of his own.
A black cab driver outside of the ring, Richardson is buzzing: “I’m excited! I’ve always been able to punch even in the amateurs, and although I only had sixteen (winning twelve) I think four of those were stoppage wins. Yes, I’ve got a dig and the professional game is a lot more suited to me.” Trained by ex- Royal Marine at Hammersmith’s State of Mind fitness Gym, Richardson is wary of becoming a boxer who just relies on his power: “Barry is a hard trainer, but it’s not just that. He also tries to impose the mind-set of a Royal Marine, to show no emotion and basically to just get on with it. As a Marine you can’t moan about things, and as Barry said if the Taliban are shooting your way you haven’t got time to get tired! In the ring if you’re not strong-minded you’re going to fall apart. It’s simple things too, like simply having the confidence to throw a punch, you can’t be half-hearted about it. Barry’s a brilliant trainer.”
“I’m a box-puncher and I like to come forward. I have had to box on the back foot before and I can counter-punch when I have to, but I work off my jab and wait for my opponents to make mistakes. Having the power helps too, when I land a shot and even if it doesn’t hurt my opponent it will get their attention. Take my last fight for example (a second round TKO over Andrej Moravek) he came out a little erratic in the first but as soon as I caught him with simple one-two he went on the back foot and stayed there.” While Balog may not be a world-beater it’s an opportunity to learn that Richardson understands: “My manager Steve doesn’t want to push me too quickly and Balog is a bit of a step-up, not someone you can just blast out of there. It’s a four- rounder and he’s only been stopped nine times in a fifty-two fight career so if I do stop him it’ll be a little statement, but Barry’s taught me never to look for the knockout and I can honestly say I’ve never gone in to any of my pro fights doing that. You just box naturally and let your shots go, looking for the knockout just puts pressure on you and you end up making silly mistakes. I don’t know if my fight will be televised but if it is, then it’s a nice bit of exposure and will get my name out there to people who haven’t heard of me. It’s a great little show to be on at this stage of my career.”
Sparring fellow prospect Josh Kelly will stand Richardson in good stead: “Everyone knows he’s a talent and you’ve got to be switched on with him, put it that way! He’s very sharp and I couldn’t ask for better preparation. I’ve also been sparring my gym-mate and Southern Area champ Jumanne Camero and Mitchell Preedy, a super-middleweight from Hayes. I’ve had some real good spars and to tell you the truth this is the most excited I’ve been for a fight, I’m really looking forward to it!
“To anyone who’s thinking of coming along on the night, don’t hesitate. It’s going to be a great night of boxing, and it’s always a superb atmosphere at the York Hall. Come on down!”