Report: Billam-Smith Eyes Redemption in Riakporhe Bout

Billam-Smith vs. Riakporhe: A Cruiserweight Clash Revisited

Cruiserweight Rematch at Selhurst Park

In the intriguing world of cruiserweight boxing, a rematch that stands out is set for this Saturday at Selhurst Park. Chris Billam-Smith, the WBO world champion, is ready to face Richard Riakporhe again, nearly five years after their first encounter—a bout Billam-Smith lost via split decision. Despite this being the only loss in his 20-fight career, Billam-Smith dismisses its significance. “It’s so irrelevant as I almost see me as a different person and almost see myself as if it was 20 years ago,” he remarked at Thursday’s press conference.

Evolution and Expectations

Since their last face-off, Billam-Smith has grown not only in skill but in stature, capturing the title from Lawrence Okolie in May 2023, followed by a somewhat lacklustre defence against Mateusz Masternak. However, the champion is confident in his evolved capabilities. “All the experience I’ve had of world championship fights, caps and headlining the big shows – I will use all that experience and go there and perform,” he asserts, showcasing his readiness to leverage his refined prowess.

Riakporhe’s Home Advantage and Confidence

The venue, a dream stage for the London-born Riakporhe, promises him home-ground advantage and an emotional boost as he aims to repeat his victory. Known as ‘The Midnight Train’, Riakporhe’s career faced hurdles, notably a serious hand injury in 2020, but he has bounced back to become one of the division’s thrilling prospects. “I have been in a lot of situations in the ring and have been able to overcome them. It’s given me a lot of confidence,” he shared, hinting at a tactical insight into the champion’s vulnerabilities, “I’ve started to see a lot of gaps.”

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