Lewis Richardson secured Team England’s first boxing medal by guaranteeing bronze but is looking to renew a rivalry on his way further up the podium.
Colchester middleweight Richardson showed all his class in a clinical unanimous points win over Guernsey’s Billy le Poullain his quarter-final to set-up a rematch with Scotland’s Sam Hickey.
Richardson beat Hickey on his way to silver at this year’s European Championships and is confident of repeating the trick in Saturday’s semi-final after showing off his full repertoire of skills.
“I feel like it was a classy performance. I had to have a war in my last fight against the Ugandan. I felt that I used my skills and attributes better today,” said Richardson, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.
“My hands and feet were both fast. He stops a lot of people and has got power in both hands but I was able to nullify a dangerous opponent.
“I felt really sharp and really focused. I was switched on from the first bell and able to execute the game plan really well.
“I’m excited to run it back again with Sam Hickey and repeat the success I had earlier this year against him in order to get this gold medal.
“I’m really pleased to secure the first medal for Team England in the boxing but there’s many more to come.
“For me, I’m over the moon to get another major medal and I’m just ready to change the colour now.”
Richardson is the only boxer in his category that had to come through a preliminary bout but his journey has been far longer than that after battling back from serious stress fractures in his back four years ago.
“The highs wouldn’t be as highs without the lows. If it was all uphill, uphill and just a high then you wouldn’t appreciate these moments as much, these moments are what we train for,” he added.
Richardson may have previous over Hickey, but the Scot is adamant it is his time for revenge in Birmingham.
Hickey’s defeat to his English nemesis saw him take bronze at the Europeans and he said he is sick and tired of picking up minor medals.
Hickey said: “I’m sick and tired of bronze and silver medals, I’m here for one medal and that’s gold.
“I don’t worry about my opponents as I let them worry about me and the result will take care of itself. I know what I can do and that’s all that matters to me.
“I’m just so focused that I know I can do it. I’ve been saying to myself for ages that I’m going to do this and when you tell yourself something so much, the sky’s the limit.
“I’m not worried about Lewis. We know each other inside and out. When we box, it’s close but I’m going to make sure I’m on the right end of it this time.
“It’s always a close fight but I’ve had the best preparation I’ve had for a tournament in about a year-and-a-half.”
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