Latvian Light heavyweight Ricards Bolotniks (19-6-1) flew into London last month to face Craig Richards (17-3-1). The scheduled bout was to take place on the Dillian Whyte Vs Jermaine Franklin undercard courtesy of Matchroom Boxing and Eddie Hearn.
What followed was peculiar to say the very least. As the fight week festivities began, Craig Richards was nowhere to be seen. Firstly at the open workout, then the press conference, and then the weigh-in. Ultimately the fight did not go ahead.
“Excuses kept changing everyday. First it was that he was stuck in traffic, then he was ill. I knew something was wrong, I’m not stupid.” said Ricards Bolotniks
“I had to do a check-weight on the Wednesday. That’s when the stories started! Obviously, we need to both check we are not over the weight, and make things very fair, just like any ranking fight. Anyway, I asked where he was? He apparently weighed in that morning. Me and my team then left, I weighed-in for the check weight and we went to go and eat. I wasn’t going to wait for him all day.
“So I’m deciding to give the guy the benefit of the doubt with all these traffic stories. Like I do with all my fights, I check their social media and stuff to get bit of an idea on how they look on fight week. But there was no sign of Craig Richards anywhere, it’s obvious he wasn’t stuck in traffic. Everything the Matchroom guy said was a contradiction.”
Ricards Bolotniks continued with his version of events on the Thursday and Friday of that fight week.
“Guess what? He didn’t bother to show up to the press conference either. They have me sat there in front of the media pretending there is going to be fight between me and Craig (Richards). At this point, I’m certain there will be no fight! Again, I ask where he is. Now the story has changed again, this time they tell me has personal problems.
“On Friday it’s weigh-in time and the excuse changes again! This time he is sick! First he is stuck in traffic, then he has personal problems and the final excuse was that he was sick. This is beyond un-acceptable. I thought British people were famous for their manners, this shows the opposite.
“I’ve messaged Craig to see if we can sort this out, it has just been ignored. We have had no message or call from Matchroom or anyone from Craig Richards’ team, I don’t know what to believe at this point. I see some rumours on social media regarding this, but I’m not a rumours kind of person. I just need them to be straight with me, man to man! So far it has been very childish behaviour.
“This isn’t some sort of joke, this is my life, my career. We prepared like always as professionals, my promoter LNK Boxing arranged good sparring for me, and we flew good fighters to Riga paid them and looked after them, all for nothing. We will not just sit around and wait for a call, I will get to the bottom of this.”