Pattaya One News
Home » Chris Billam-Smith Defeats Richard Riakporhe to Retain WBO Cruiserweight Title
Boxing Sport Sport World

Chris Billam-Smith Defeats Richard Riakporhe to Retain WBO Cruiserweight Title

Billam-Smith Beats Riakporhe to Retain WBO Cruiserweight Title

Chris Billam-Smith delivered a masterful performance to beat Richard Riakporhe via unanimous decision, retaining his WBO cruiserweight world title at Selhurst Park on Saturday night. This victory marked a significant milestone for Billam-Smith, who avenged his only career defeat to Riakporhe from July 2019.

The reigning champion showcased a calculated and controlled approach, effectively neutralizing Riakporhe’s power and spoiling his opponent’s homecoming at the home of Crystal Palace. It was a title defense and sweet revenge for ‘The Gentleman,’ who left no room for doubt with scores of 116-111, 115-112, and 115-112.

A key topic in the fight’s buildup was which boxer had improved more since their first encounter. Billam-Smith insisted he had grown into a completely different competitor since 2019, and Riakporhe found out just how right he was. “Very satisfying,” Billam-Smith remarked post-fight. “I’m really pleased with the performance. Experience, speed, and the game plan made the difference.”

Riakporhe began the fight composed, working behind his jab and finding his range with two powerful right hands that elicited gasps from the crowd. Billam-Smith found his rhythm in the second round, forcing Riakporhe to tie him up at the ropes, a theme that continued as the fighters frequently tangled on the inside.

Despite Riakporhe landing a firm left hook and the fight entering a stagnant phase, Billam-Smith’s superior technique started to shine through in the fourth round. Both fighters traded brutal body shots, but Billam-Smith’s toughness and cleaner shots began to tilt the fight in his favor.

By the seventh round, Billam-Smith was in control, appearing busier and more accurate. Riakporhe, looking increasingly frustrated, failed to mount a significant offensive. Billam-Smith rocked Riakporhe with a hook in the eighth round, and although Riakporhe attempted to respond with a huge right hand, Billam-Smith’s granite chin held firm.

Riakporhe, knowing he was behind, unleashed a flurry of punches in the closing rounds, but his momentum was stalled by an accidental low blow from Billam-Smith. The champion’s experience shone through as he closed out the fight with two clinical final rounds. Riakporhe’s efforts were further undermined when he was deducted a point for using his head in a clinch.

For Billam-Smith, this victory not only retained his title but also represented a career-best performance, highlighting his growth and dominance in the cruiserweight division.

Credit: Sky Sports

Related posts

Pattaya One New Thailand, your go-to source for global and local news, alongside effective business advertising opportunities, tailored to the vibrant city of Pattaya.
Translate »