Riakporhe Confident He Can Dethrone Billam-Smith in a Rematch
Unbeaten British cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe (17-0, 13 KOs) is on the cusp of a world title shot. He’s targeting a fight with reigning WBO champion Chris Billam-Smith (18-1, 12 KOs). Riakporhe believes if he gets his chance to fight the WBO champion, he’s not only winning but doing so by stoppage.
Riakporhe is coming off a second-round stoppage over Dylan Bregeon in Wolverhampton, England on November 18. Currently the number one contender in the WBO at cruiserweight, Riakhporhe hopes his next fight will be against Billam-Smith for the WBO title.
The two fighters are familiar with one another. They previously fought in July 2019, with Riakporhe winning by a split decision. Following his victory over Bregeon, Riakporhe spoke with the British news outlet Boxing Social. When asked if a potential rematch with Billam-Smith goes the distance, Riakporhe said the following:
“No way! I put a lot of pressure on myself. I should be getting these guys out within five rounds . . . If you’re around me and you’ve seen how we move in training and the work we put in, these guys shouldn’t be able to mix it with us for that long.”
Billam-Smith has an upcoming title defense against Mateusz Masternak on December 10 in Bournemouth, England. Riakporhe plans to be ringside for that contest, rooting for Billam-Smith to come out on top.
In truth, there’s more value in a rematch with Billam-Smith. Both fighters hail from England. Domestic battles are always a big deal in that part of the world, especially when there’s a world title on the line. If Billam-Smith takes care of business against Masternak, it’s likely a rematch with Riakporhe at some point in the first half of 2023. Riakporhe has defeated him once. He’s confident he can do it again.