RIAKPORHE VS. MASSEY WEIGHTS AND RUNNING ORDER

17:00 DOORS 
17:15 FIRST BELL

 
4 x 3 mins Super-Bantamweight
IBRAHIM NADIM 8st 10lbs 15oz v MISAEL ZELEDON 9st 2lbs 2oz
(Keighley)                                         (Spain)
 
4 x 3 mins Heavyweight
FRANKLIN IGNATIUS 16st 1lbs 3oz v HRVOJE BOZINOVIC 15st 2lbs 12oz
(London)                                                (Croatia)
 
18:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK
 
4 x 3 mins Super-Middleweight contest
MALIK KAREEM 12st 2lbs 3oz v BEN THOMAS 12st 1lb 13oz
(London)                                        (Bolton)
 
6 x 2 mins Bantamweight contest
SHANNON COURTENAY 8st 11lbs 8oz v BUCHRA EL QUAISSI 8st 7lbs 4oz
(Watford)                                                       (Spain)
 
19:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
 
10 x 3 mins WBO Global Welterweight Title
LUTHER CLAY 10st 6lbs 10oz v FREDDY KIWITT 10st 6lbs 13oz
(Bracknell)                                    (London)
 
10 x 3 mins Super-Welterweight contest
KIERON CONWAY 11st 2lbs v CRAIG O’BRIEN 11st 4oz
(Northampton)                         (Dublin)
 
8 x 3 mins Light-Heavyweight contest
CRAIG RICHARDS 12st 6lbs 2oz v CHAD SUGDEN 12st 6lbs 9oz
(Crystal Palace)                               (Newark)
 
12 x 3 mins vacant British Cruiserweight Title
RICHARD RIAKPORHE 14st 2lbs 13oz v JACK MASSEY 14st 1lbs 12oz
(Walworth)                                                   (Derbyshire)
 
FLOAT
 
4 x 3 mins Super-Featherweight contest
DONTE DIXON 9st 4lbs 12oz v VLADISLAVS DAVIDAITIS 9st 5lbs 14oz
(Sheffield)                                   (Latvia)

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RIAKPORHE VS. MASSEY PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Richard Riakporhe and Jack Massey Final Press Conference ahead of their fight for the Vacant British Cruiserweight title on 19th December. 17th December 2019 Picture By Mark Robinson.

Frank Smith, CEO of Matchroom Boxing:

“Thank you everyone for joining us here in London ahead of Thursday night’s huge JD NXTGEN show at York Hall. It has been an unbelievable year and what better way to finish, this and Friday night in Phoenix, Arizona. We start with the JD NXTGEN card with this whole host of talent. 

“38 shows promoted already this year with 350 fights, 38 World Title fights and for a lot of these guys and girls here today, that’s where they want to be in a few years, big World Title fights. These fighters are the future of the big cards we have coming up. 

“It has been an exciting year and we look forward to finishing it at York Hall. It’s a stacked card from top to bottom and we’ll start off by speaking with some of the debutants looking to take their first steps in the pro game.”

Richard Riakporhe – Walworth, London – 10-0, 8 KO’s – fighting Jack Massey for the vacant British Cruiserweight title:

“I’m feeling good. I’m happy with the opportunities that I’ve received this year, stepping up to the plate. I fought Tommy McCarthy back in March, got the win, I fought Chris Billam-Smith not too long ago and got the win as well. What would end the year perfectly for me would be getting the win over Jack Massey with the British title as well. What more could I want?

“There’s a lot of big fights out there for me in 2020 but we’re not going to overlook Jack Massey. We’ve prepared for him like he’s a true veteran and we’re ready to take the win and get on with it. I don’t see the fight going longer than six rounds. I don’t see it going past six rounds but I’ve trained for fifteen rounds.

“We’re ready for whatever. If Jack wants to box I can box, if he wants to fight I can fight. I believe that I can beat him in every single department. If he wants to have a cookout and see who’s the best chef, then I’ll beat him in a Sunday roast cookout. If I lose in that, I’ll put him in the oven. 

“I’m looking forward to it. I respect Jack Massey as a fighter, I respect him for taking the fight. I’m just ready to showcase my skills.”

Jack Massey – Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire – 10-0, 8 KO’s – fighting Richard Riakporhe for the vacant British Cruiserweight title:

“We had a long camp for the Okolie fight. We trained for 12 rounds so it’s put me in good stead for this. The recovery time for the injury wasn’t long so I was back punching six weeks after the injury so it’s time to go. 

“It’s a massive year after this. I don’t see it going more than six rounds either. He’s confident, get ready for a boxing match.”

Craig Richards – Crystal Palace, London – 15-1, 8 KO’s – fighting Chad Sugden in an 8 round Light-Heavyweight contest:

“Good afternoon everyone. I’m just looking forward to getting out on Thursday night. It’s been a while since I’ve been back out. I’m just focused on this Thursday. I think a few months ago Chad tagged me in a post calling me out. I know that he’s going to come and bring it, he’s willing for the big opportunity and I’m not going to take him lightly. 

“I’m looking forward to going out on Thursday night and making a statement and then going on after that and god willing cleaning up the rest of the division. I’m just focused on Thursday night. What I’m focused on next year is the titles. I want to go out and get that British title after Thursday and have a big year. It’s about ticking them all off. I’m looking forward to going out there and putting on a performance.”

Chad Sugden – Newark, Nottinghamshire – 11-1, 4 KO’s – fighting Craig Richards in an 8 round Light-Heavyweight contest:

“For sure, I wouldn’t be here for any other reason. I believe I can beat Craig, I’ve got all of the tools to beat him. I’ve just got to put it all into place on Thursday night. He’s number 4 in the UK on BoxRec and he’s got a world ranking with the WBA. It’s a massive fight for me but it’s a fight that I took for one reason only and that’s to come and win.”

Luther Clay – Bracknell, Berkshire – 12-1, 5 KO’s – defending his WBO Global Welterweight title against Freddy Kiwitt:

“I’m feeling good and ready to go. I’m ready to fight, I’m ready to defend my title. The guy I won my title off didn’t want to fight Freddy. He said ‘I’ll fight Luther it’s an easier fight’, then he got touched up and now I’m coming for Freddy. I ain’t looking past Freddy, Freddy is a very good fighter. His fight where he won the European title was against Paddy Gallagher who’s a very good fighter. I can’t afford to look past him but I am going to go through him.” 

Freddy Kiwitt – London – 17-2, 10 KO’s – challenging Luther Clay for the WBO Global Welterweight title:

“No I don’t think it’s too early, I think it has come at exactly the right time. It’s god’s timing. I had a great year and this my fourth fight in the third country, and my third title fight as well. I’m really looking forward to this fight.

“I won the WBO European belt at the beginning of the year so this will just add another one to the collection and I just need to win this fight. This is my purpose. He’s just on the way to where I want to be. This is my time now.”

Kieron Conway – Northampton, Northamptonshire – fighting Craig O’Brien in an 10 round Super-Welterweight contest: 

“I’m excited to be back at York Hall and feel really good coming into this one. I am not overlooking Craig O’Brien but I want to get the job done and take one step closer to that British title.”

Shannon Courtenay – Watford, Hertfordshire – 4-0, 1 KO – fighting Buchra El Quaissi in a 6 round Super-Bantamweight contest: 

“It has been a perfect first year as a professional, four wins. My last fight was definitely a learning curve, she came out flying but we got the job done. I got my first stoppage at York Hall so I’m hoping to return there and getting another win.

“Next year will be a massive year, I am looking forward to it but firstly I am just totally focused on this fight.”

Donte Dixon – Sheffield, Yorkshire – 1-0 – fighting Vladislavs Davidaits in a 4 round Super-Featherweight contest:

“This is my second fight and I am looking forward to it, I’m looking forward to putting on a very good performance. Billy Joe Saunders is a big name who has a lot of connections so I’ll be up there soon.”

Franklin Ignatius – Dagenham, London – making his professional debut in a 4 round Heavyweight contest against Michal Banbula: 

“I’m definitely excited and I’m ready. I am enjoying the occasion, my amateur experience has helped but the most important thing for me is continuing to learn. It’s been a lightning period but I’m enjoying it but I’m ready to show what I’ve got!”

Malik Kareem – Finchley – making his professional debut in a 4 round Super-Middleweight contest against Ben Thomas: 

“It’s been a long camp, I’ve had good sparring and I am just ready to go now. From day one when I started boxing at Finchley, Anthony Joshua has been there for whatever I needed and as a role model. Him getting the straps back has helped me be in a good mood ahead of my pro debut.”

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I’LL WEAR HIM DOWN AND STOP HIM SAYS BILLAM-SMITH

Bournemouth banger risks unbeaten record against Riakporhe
In what promises to be an explosive encounter in the Cruiserweight division, Chris Billam-Smith challenges fellow unbeaten prospect Richard Riakporhe for the World Boxing Association Inter-Continental title at The O2 in London this Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.

Billam-Smith, 9-0 with eight knockouts, has recently welcomed a new arrival into the McGuigan camp in Battersea in the form of 6’ 5” British Cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie, and the south coast native said he couldn’t have asked for better sparring in preparation for Riakporhe.
 
“When Shane told me Okolie was joining the gym I thought it was a good thing,” said Billam-Smith. “We’d spoke about how good Lawrence would be as preparation for Riakporhe before he joined and now he’s here it has been excellent.

“Okolie is so tall and long like Riakporhe, I couldn’t ask for better sparring. After our spars Okolie has given me some tips on how to get past the jab and avoid the big right hand so, yeah it’s been really good work and has given me lots to think about going into the fight.”

‘The Gentleman’, last seen retiring Yassine Habachi in Nottingham, insists he has spotted vulnerability in Riakporhe and plans to boost his ranking and reputation by taking out the hard-hitting Londoner in style on his PPV debut. 

“Being a domestic opponent the excitement around the fight has really brought me on in camp. On paper people are saying that Richard is my toughest opponent but no disrespect towards him having sparred Lawrence Okolie a lot in this camp I’m more than ready for this test.
 
“Richard is coming off two good wins over Sam Hyde and Tommy McCarthy so his confidence will be sky high. I’m expecting the best Richard Riakporhe in this fight, this is my first big test and one that people really want to see. Someone’s ‘0’ has got to go. I believe it will be a physical fight but eventually I will wear him down and get the stoppage.”

Riakporhe vs. Billam-Smith is part of a huge night of boxing in the Capital.

Main event sees Brixton’s Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) risk his number one spot in the WBC against relentless and undefeated Colombian Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs), Doncaster fan favourite Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) tackles Liverpudlian Heavyweight David Price (24-6, 19 KOs) in a must-win domestic showdown, former World title challengers Derek Chisora (30-9, 21 KOs) and Artur Szpilka (22-3, 15 KOs) clash in an explosive Heavyweight match-up, Canning Town’s Charlie Duffield (7-1, 6 KOs) clashes with Lewisham’s Dan Azeez (8-0, 5 KOs) for the vacant Southern Area Light-Heavyweight title, Lawrence Okolie (12-0, 9 KOs) defends his WBA Continental Cruiserweight title against Mariano Gudino (13-2, 8 KOs), Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (7-0, 6 KOs) continues his march towards a title and Sheffield amateur star Dalton Smith (1-0) fights for the second time.
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I’LL BEAT HIM IN EVERY DEPARTMENT SAYS RIAKPORHE

Cruiser contender confident ahead of Billam-Smith test
Richard Riakporhe says he will beat Chris Billam-Smith “in every department” when he puts his WBA Inter-Continental belt on the line against the unbeaten Bournemouth man at The O2 on Saturday July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.

After going the distance on his professional debut in the summer of 2016, big-hitting Riakporhe has stopped all of his opponents since with every contest bar one failing to reach the fifth round. With just nine fights to his name, the 29-year-old expects to become even more of a problem in his division once he has further refined his skills with trainer Mark Tibbs. 

“It’s real power that I possess, it’s very genuine,” said Riakporhe. “You do not want to get hit, but now all these other fighters, they are going to start taking risks, because I’m boxing now, I’m not just relying on my raw power. The more risks they take, the more dangerous the fight is going to be for them, and they’ll get knocked out.
 
“I believe I’m the most dangerous, because I have the power and I have transferred my intelligence into the ring. You have to be wary of a fighter like me and I’m dangerous throughout the fight, from the first bell, until the last. You have to be focused throughout the fight. Any mistake you make, I’ll capitalise on it. Just one, that’s all I need.”

Trained by highly-rated coach Shane McGuigan alongside British champion Lawrence Okolie, Billam-Smith shares an identical record of 9-0 (8 KOs) and has also predicted a KO win in this weekend’s crunch Cruiserweight showdown, but Riakporhe holds no fear of ‘The Gentleman’ and is extremely confident that he will get the job done. 
 
“I think Chris Billam-Smith is a good fighter, it’s just that there’s levels in this game and I feel that I’m on another level. He brings good boxing skill, he’s got a good coach in his corner, but once that bell rings he’s going to understand that there’s different levels of fighting. I don’t think he has been up against an opponent like me.
 
“All my fights and history shows that I have abnormal power and that’s likely to bring issues when we fight for sure, but we’re not only going to rely on that. We’re going to outbox him and beat him in every department. I just can’t wait to get in there and get to work. I’ve got tons of potential and fight after fight I’m learning news things. I’ve taken these big tests, I came into all these fights as the underdog, and my resume is looking quite impressive.”

Riakporhe vs. Billam-Smith is part of a huge night of boxing in the Capital.

Main event sees Brixton’s Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) risk his number one spot in the WBC against relentless and undefeated Colombian Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs), Doncaster fan favourite Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) tackles Liverpudlian Heavyweight David Price (24-6, 19 KOs) in a must-win domestic showdown, former World title challengers Derek Chisora (30-9, 21 KOs) and Artur Szpilka (22-3, 15 KOs) clash in an explosive Heavyweight match-up, Canning Town’s Charlie Duffield (7-1, 6 KOs) clashes with Lewisham’s Dan Azeez (8-0, 5 KOs) for the vacant Southern Area Light-Heavyweight title, Lawrence Okolie (12-0, 9 KOs) defends his WBA Continental Cruiserweight title against Mariano Gudino (13-2, 8 KOs), Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (7-0, 6 KOs) continues his march towards a title and Sheffield amateur star Dalton Smith (1-0) fights for the second time.
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RICHARD CAN STOP HIM IN SIX OR SEVEN ROUNDS SAYS WHYTE

‘The Body Snatcher’ backs Cruiserweight protege to maintain explosive rise on Saturday
Guided by leading Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte, it seems that London Cruiserweight hope Richard Riakporhe is in the right hands when it comes to being steered towards the top of the sport. 

On Saturday he makes the second defence of his WBA Inter-Continental title, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US, against fellow undefeated prospect Chris Billam-Smith, who shares an identical record of nine wins from nine fights – eight coming by knockout. 

A concussive puncher and extremely dangerous early, the Walworth talent is quickly establishing himself as one of the biggest threats in the domestic scene, and ‘The Body Snatcher’ is backing his man to get the job done inside the distance once more this weekend.

“Richard is on a good run now and he’s got a lot of confidence behind him,” said Whyte. “The people he’s fighting and beating, I believe his resume is a lot better than Lawrence Okolie’s so far. If he beats Billam-Smith in good fashion, which I believe he will do, then he should be looking to fight the likes of Lawrence Okolie by the end of the year.
 
“Billiam-Smith is a good boxer, he’s undefeated, he’ll be confident, but Richard carries a lot of power, he’s on a roll and I think he can stop Billam-Smith in six or seven rounds. With Richard, it’s all about the people he has around him, and the mindset that those people give him. He’s ready to defeat most of these guys in the Cruiserweight division worldwide.”

Riakporhe vs. Billam-Smith is part of a huge night of boxing in the Capital.

Main event sees Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) risk his number one spot in the WBC against relentless and undefeated Colombian Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs), Doncaster fan favourite Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) tackles Liverpudlian Heavyweight David Price (24-6, 19 KOs) in a must-win domestic showdown, former World title challengers Derek Chisora (30-9, 21 KOs) and Artur Szpilka (22-3, 15 KOs) clash in an explosive Heavyweight match-up, Canning Town’s Charlie Duffield (7-1, 6 KOs) clashes with Lewisham’s Dan Azeez (8-0, 5 KOs) for the vacant Southern Area Light-Heavyweight title, British Cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie (12-0, 9 KOs) returns, Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (7-0, 6 KOs) continues his march towards a title and Sheffield amateur star Dalton Smith (1-0) fights for the second time.
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RIAKPORHE MEETS BILLAM-SMITH ON JULY 20

Undefeated Cruiserweights put it all on the line at The O2
Richard Riakporhe will make the second defence of his WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title against Chris Billam-Smith on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s crunch Heavyweight clash with Oscar Rivas at The O2 in London on July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office
 
Riakporhe (9-0, 8KOs) displayed destructive punch power as he halted Belfast’s highly-touted Tommy McCarthy in four rounds last time out at the East of England Arena in Peterborough in March and the Londoner knows that a win over unbeaten Billam-Smith will keep him in contention for a clash with current British Champion Lawrence Okolie.
 
Billam-Smith (8-0, 7KOs) also holds a perfect record since turning professional in 2017 and the Bournemouth fighter keeps busy on next Friday’s JD NXTGEN show at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham before turning his attention to Riakporhe. 
 
Known as ‘The Gentleman’, Billam-Smith has honed his skills under trainer Shane McGuigan and the 28-year-old is determined to announce himself on the big stage by taking out Riakporhe in style on his first ever PPV event. 
 
“I’m so excited,” said Riakporhe. “I just can’t wait to get in there and get to work. I’ve got tons of potential and fight after fight I’m learning new things. I’ve taken on these big tests, I came into all these fights as the underdog, and my resume is looking quite impressive so far. This is pretty much the beginning and it’s just a matter of time before people realise that I’m the truth.
 
“I think Chris Billam-Smith is a good fighter, it’s just that there’s levels and I just feel that I’m on another level. He brings good boxing skill, he’s got a good coach in his corner, but once that bell rings he’s going to understand that there’s different levels of fighting. I don’t think he has been up against an opponent like me.
 
“All my fights and history shows that I have abnormal power and that’s likely to bring issue when we fight for sure, but we’re not only going to rely on that. We’re going to outbox him and beat him in every single department.
 
“I bring a lot of power and the fans love to see the knockouts. I bring those knockouts as you can see from my last eight fights and I’m going to continue to bring excitement to the fans. I think Lawrence will be watching closely and I believe once I carry on getting the wins, our paths are very likely to cross. It’s going to be a hell of a fight in the future.”
 
“I believe it’s going to be an exciting fight for the fans,” said Billam-Smith. “You only have to look at our records to see that we both carry knockout power and the ability to end fights at any time. Isaac Chamberlain didn’t want to know so we moved on swiftly and secured a better fight with Riakporhe, I’m not letting anyone stall my career. 
 
“I think I’ll outbox him early on and I believe I’ll take him out when I get the chance – I don’t expect this to go the full ten rounds. I believe that I’ll take him out anywhere between four and six rounds. He’s a good scalp for me at this stage of my career as his record looks great on paper and he can obviously punch a bit. There’s definitely weaknesses there which I plan to exploit.
 
“This will be the first title that I’ve boxed for as a professional and it’s important to get it under my belt in order to progress. I want to pick up as many belts as I can and move up the rankings quickly. It’s the perfect platform for me with it being on Sky Sports Box Office and at such a great arena that I’ve been to many times as a fan over the years. I’m excited to bring a big fanbase with me and start the show with a bang.”
 
“Richard is on a good run now and he’s got a lot of confidence behind him,” said Dillian Whyte, manager of Riakporhe. “The people he’s fighting and beating, I believe his resume is a lot better than Lawrence Okolie’s so far. If he defeats Billam-Smith in good fashion, which I believe he will do, then he should be looking to fight the likes of Lawrence Okolie by the end of the year. 
 
“Billam-Smith is a good boxer, he’s undefeated, he’ll be confident, but Richard carries a lot of power, he’s on a roll and I think he can stop Billam-Smith in six or seven rounds. With Richard, it’s all about the people he has around him, and the mindset that those people give him. He’s ready to defeat most of these guys in the Cruiserweight division worldwide.” 

“It’s a great fight and these type of fights don’t happen very often,” said Barry McGuigan MBE, manager of Billam-Smith. “Most of the guys that are coming up through the ranks are always conscious of the guys that are on a similar level to them with similar records but invariably they avoid each other, certainly in the early stages of their career. It’s great to see these two young guys meeting on July 20. 

“Riakporhe is definitely known for his punching power and I know that his manager Dillian Whyte thinks Riakporhe can take Billam-Smith out but I disagree with that completely. Of all of the guys that we’ve had through the gym, I don’t think anyone had made the improvements that Billam-Smith has made. He’s got great boxing skills and he can bang. He places his shots really well. It’s not an easy fight, there’s no question about it, but I think he will have too much for Riakporhe – he’s too versatile. It’s as simple as that.”
 
Tickets for Whyte vs. Rivas are priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £300, £500 and £800 VIP.

General Sale tickets are available to purchase NOW from StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)
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