PLYMOUTH cruiserweight Courtney Richards was killed on his motorcycle on Friday (July 3) at the age of just 27. The larger than life character had not fought since 2016 but was hoping to make a return to the ring this year.

Richards’ record was 5-5-2 (1) but, as is so often the case in boxing, the numbers didn’t tell the true story.

He became disillusioned with the sport after finding himself a regular fixture in the away corner. He wanted more from boxing than that.

In 2017, he approached Marlee Dann and Shane Radmore to train him after expressing his desire to take the sport seriously. In turn, Dann was convinced to get his professional trainer licence.

“He did everything wrong,” Dann told Boxing News about Richards, who had been in with some of the country’s best in sparring sessions. “His jab was wrong, his feet were wrong but he had this unique ability to take away the best qualities of very good boxers. He would drag them into a fight and they couldn’t cope.

“In that regard, he was extraordinary.”

He had signed with Steve Goodwin and was due to make his comeback in November last year until a hernia ruled him out of action. Goodwin had high hopes for Richards, with an English title thought to be a realistic target.

“He was the kind of guy you wanted to talk to for hours,” Dann continued. “He was a joker, always on the wind up and he always had a smile on his face.” At the time of his death, Richards had taken a break from his job as a groundworker to deliver a birthday present to his father. He leaves behind his wife, Sophie, and young daughter, Rae. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.