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Craig 'Spider' Richards leaps at title shot on five days' notice

Craig Richards has agreed to challenge for the British title on less than a week's notice. Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Craig 'Spider' Richards is sure he possesses the power to relieve Frank Buglioni of the British title on Oct. 28 now he's fighting up at light-heavyweight.

The Londoner, 27, took the bout on less than a week's notice following Callum Johnson's withdrawal but feels strong enough to avoid being solely reliant on ring skills he feels are far superior to Buglioni's.

Telling the story of a remarkable turn of events, Richards told ESPN: "I saw [promoter] Eddie Hearn last weekend because I was boxing in Belfast. Callum had just called to say he was not fit to fight anymore and Eddie was telling me about it.

"I said I'd be interested. I spoke to who we had to speak to and then it was on the table. He was putting the feelers out to see but I think he was still a bit surprised when we decided we were ready.

"I took about two hours to think about it before confirming. I wanted to focus on the fight I had on my hands so I fought and then I sat down with Eddie and we agreed on it. It was a good performance on the night but I can't deny the British title shot it was in my head.

"The first priority we had was going out and finding a sparring partner to replicate the style of Buglioni. We did that but I've already sparred countless rounds with Buglioni himself -- I helped him get prepared for his last two title fights.

"I'm a lot more skillful than he is. Skill-wise I am ahead. He knows that going into the fight. He'll adapt and switch but we are also going to adapt and change a few things.

"I lost my power down at super middleweight but because I carry my natural weight behind punches up at light-heavyweight, I'm getting those stoppages and it means I'm versatile now in terms of my approach to fights.

"People think I'm underdog and it's short notice. For me, I'm confident and I'm going in there knowing I can win. When you're an unbeaten fighter, you want to make sure that you keep that '0' and going into this, I feel very good."

Richards (9-0 KOs 3) outpointed another previously-unbeaten fighter in Alan Higgins to take the Southern Area super-middleweight crown back in March.