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Billam-Smith to Face Riakporhe in Cruiserweight Title Defense

Billam-Smith to defend title against Riakporhe

Chris Billam-Smith is gearing up to defend his WBO cruiserweight title against Richard Riakporhe in a highly anticipated bout at Selhurst Park on June 15.

The 33-year-old Billam-Smith clinched the world title after defeating Lawrence Okolie in May last year. With additional titles as the Commonwealth and European champion, Billam-Smith is set for another thrilling all-British encounter on Crystal Palace’s home turf.

The upcoming fight holds special significance as Riakporhe is the only boxer to have defeated Billam-Smith professionally. Their previous clash in July 2019 ended in a split-decision victory for Riakporhe, securing him the WBA Intercontinental title.

However, Billam-Smith has since maintained an impeccable record, most notably by retaining his cruiserweight title against Mateusz Masternak in December 2023.

“Richard is undoubtedly a skilled fighter, but I’ve evolved significantly since our last encounter. He’s in for a challenging night,” commented Billam-Smith.

Expressing his excitement, Riakporhe, a devoted Crystal Palace supporter, took to social media to share his sentiments about fighting at Selhurst Park, calling it a “dream come true.”

“I’ve defeated him before, and I’m confident in doing it again. This time, there won’t be a need for the judges,” added the 34-year-old Riakporhe, who held the British cruiserweight title from 2019 to 2020 and remains undefeated in his professional career. His most recent victory was against Dylan Bregeon in November 2023.

Credit: Yahoo Sport

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