Chris Billam-Smith wants Richard Riakporhe rematch in London

CHRIS BILLAM-SMITH is hopeful for a rematch against Richard Riakporhe to take place at the same venue where he suffered his only defeat to date.

On July 20, 2019, Riakporhe emerged victorious over 10 rounds on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s triumph over Oscar Rivas at the O2 Arena in London.

Both Billam-Smith and Riakporhe, who are represented by Boxxer, are nearing a return bout five years later, where the former would defend his WBO world cruiserweight title against his mandatory challenger.

The 33-year-old champion claimed the belt in a less-than-ideal fight against his friend and former gym-mate Lawerence Okolie last May. Despite the forgettable bout, the evening was memorable for Billam-Smith as he secured victory in front of his hometown fans outdoors at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium. Billam-Smith later returned to the ring in December, defeating Mateusz Masternak in a hard-fought battle that concluded when the Pole retired in the eighth round due to a rib injury.

Riakporhe, on the other hand, remains undefeated in 17 fights and has demonstrated dominance in his last five wins, with each opponent either being stopped or knocked out.

Riakporhe is the only person to have beaten Billam-Smith. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Boxing News interviewed Billam-Smith at the O2 Arena following a British heavyweight title classic between Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke, which attracted over 10,000 spectators.

“We’re just awaiting confirmation of the venue for the Riakporhe rematch,” he stated.

“I would prefer to have it here [the O2 Arena]. This is where the initial fight took place. It just makes sense, given the history. Although we can’t use AFC Bournemouth, which is disappointing due to pitch availability. But let’s bring it back here. This venue is perfect for a significant event. It will be just as momentous as tonight’s fights. I’m eager for the fight to be finalized and announced. I’m already in training and looking forward to it.”

Earlier that evening, Billam-Smith’s gym-mate Adam Azim faced off against Harlem Eubank in anticipation of their proposed super-lightweight match. While no official announcement was made, Azim’s trainer Shane McGuigan confirmed to BN that the fight had been signed and is set to occur.

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