Whyte vs Rivas: Richard Riakporhe tells Chris Billam-Smith to brace himself for brutal fight
Watch Riakporhe-Billam-Smith on the Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas bill at The O2 on July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 08/07/19 11:46am
Richard Riakporhe believes Chris Billam-Smith will soon realise the punishing cruiserweight clash that lies ahead when they face-off in fight week.
The British contenders will collide on the Dillian Whyte-Oscar Rivas bill at The O2 on July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office, as Riakporhe seeks another destructive victory after stopping Tommy McCarthy in March.
Both fighters hold identical nine-fight unbeaten records with a string of stoppages, but Riakporhe insists Billam-Smith is no different from his other opponents, who could not withstand his strength and power.
"He sounds pretty confident from what I've heard," Riakporhe told Sky Sports. "Everybody talks tough. I understand the game, they want to talk tough, they want to market themselves for other potential fights after our boxing match.
"What I notice, as soon as we get to the press conference and we stand and they take a look in my eyes, they see the fire, they see the fighting spirit. It dawns on them.
"You get to the weigh-in and they see it. They want to be there, they want to win, but they know they have to walk through a brick wall. It's just impossible. How are they going to do that?"
Lawrence Okolie, the current British and Commonwealth champion, has been added to the undercard and Riakporhe believes a future fight is inevitable.
"For sure, and I've always said this, I think it's just a matter of time," he said. "It's coming closer.
"He keeps on winning, I keep on winning - people are going to call for it. The fans have already been calling for it and messaging me, saying that they believe that I'll take him, and vice versa.
"People just want to see the fight, they don't know what will happen."
The 29-year-old is putting the final touches to his preparations with trainer Mark Tibbs, but revealed how he travelled to Cuba to work on his technique in a country which has provided a succession of amateur champions.
"I've always had ambitions to go and train in Cuba, so I went for the first time last year in January, and I've been there at least three times now," Riakporhe said.
"They definitely open my mind to different aspects of fighting in the ring, the dimensions of boxing, and I think there's different levels to boxing. They are not conventional, like the UK, British style.
"I want to bring something different to the ring. I want people to be in awe when they see me box. Obviously knockouts are great, but I want them to be like wow!"
Watch Riakporhe-Billam-Smith on the Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas bill, including David Allen-David Price and Derek Chisora-Artur Szpilka at The O2 on July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office.