Billam-Smith On Riakporhe Rematch: “Experience Is Everything”

Billam-Smith To Show Up Differently For Riakporhe Rematch

Chris Billam-Smith feels ready to face Richard Riakporhe
Chris Billam-Smith to rematch Richard Riakporhe on June 9 (credit: Lawrence Lustig/Boxxer)

Chris Billam-Smith Is Ready For Richard Riakporhe

On June 6, WBO cruiserweight champion “The Gentleman” Chris Billam-Smith will defend the title for the second time against Richard “The Midnight Train” Riakporhe. The Gentleman is betting on his experience being the difference-maker in the rematch.

In 2019, The Midnight Train (17-0, 13KO) defeated The Gentleman (19-1, 13KO) with a razor-close split decision victory in their first encounter. Now a world champion, Billam-Smith has maintained that he is a different fighter.


The Brit is banking on that big fight experience as a key to victory, which he emphasized during the press conference.

“Be me – That’s what I need to do on Saturday is be myself. All the experience I’ve had in world championship fights . . . being on those big shows, headlining the big shows. Just use all that experience and go in there and perform.”

“Experience is everything.”

He has a point that fighting on such a big stage with a title on the line can be overwhelming. Fighters have often allowed their emotions to get the best of them, which has proven to be a costly error.

During the fight build-up, Billam-Smith once stated that Riakporhe has improved but not at the same level he has. It sparked a heated debate with The Midnight Train, who called his rival deluded.

The WBO champion is coming off a performance that saw him overcome adversity against veteran Mateusz Masternak in December 2023. Billam-Smith’s confidence is at an all-time high and it should be. He has shown massive improvement since that first fight and has been waiting to avenge that blemish on his record.

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Garrisson Bland - Head of Public Relations/Senior Journalist. Garrisson is the Head of Public relations for as well as a senior writer. He is also the host of YouTube boxing show "Truth And Facts Sports Talk."