Home Boxing News Chris Billam-Smith wants Richard Riakporhe rematch to prove all the doubters wrong

Chris Billam-Smith wants Richard Riakporhe rematch to prove all the doubters wrong

Chris Billam-Smith. Photo credit: Lawrence Lustig

WBO cruiserweight champion Chris Billam-Smith 19-1 (13) says he holds no fear of the only man who has ever defeated him as a pro.

The 33-year-old Billam-Smith of Bournemouth in England is faced with the prospect of facing his conqueror Richard Riakporhe 17-0 (13) in a rematch after the 34-year-old Londoner was installed as the mandatory challenger for his title.

The pair met five years ago ove 10 rounds at the O2 Arena in London for a regional title in what was the 10th pro bout for both of them. Riakporhe prevailed by split decision with scores of 95-94, 93-96 and 97-92.

Billam-Smith, who won the WBO strap with a scrappy majority decision win over Lawrence Okolie 19-1 (14) last May, says he would welcome the opportunity to avenge his lone loss.

“It would just wake everyone else up. That’s how it’s always felt with me in my career. We know what it’s like being in the ring with me and what I do really well. A lot of it is unseen by the untrained eye,” Billam-Smith told Sky Sports.

“For us nothing really changes because in my head I’m the favourite within our group going into the fight and that’s what matters to me. It’s nice to be written off by everyone else and prove people wrong.

“We like to prove people wrong.

“At some point people will start realising that it’s not just luck. You can’t keep getting lucky.

“We know why I’m capable of doing it. Fighters don’t keep achieving, don’t keep beating people by pure luck. It comes from hard work.”

Billam-Smith added that while Riakporhe was obviously the bigger puncher, he has the better all-round game.

“I don’t think he’s improved as much as I have. I also think the changes he’s made are going to suit me better in this fight,” he said.

“That’s literally the only thing he’s got on me, his punch power and he’ll have to come up with a lot more than that to be able to beat me and I don’t think he’ll have it.

“It might be different when people can take those punches or handle his power a bit better. I have boxed him before and I was never hurt in the first fight and I took some pretty fully fledged punches.

“I’m not sure how much his power will have improved but I know mine has improved a hell of a lot.”

Billam-Smith has grand plans for his career above and beyond a revenge win over Riakporhe.

These include a unification bout with recently crowned WBA 200-pound champion Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez 46-1 (30).

“That would be amazing, that really would be an away day. I’d love to fight in the States,” Billam-Smith said. “Do the whole experience and then to fight another belt as well would be amazing.”