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Richard Riakporhe warns Chris Billam-Smith he will haunt his dreams like Freddy Krueger and plots first-round knockout

Richard Riakporhe on a prospective world title fight against Chris Billam-Smith: "I plan to knock him out in the first round, I just believe that I have what it takes"; Riakporhe previously defeated world champion Billam-Smith in 2019.

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Chris Billam-Smith has agreed to defend his WBO world title against Richard Riakporhe and the cruiserweight rivals exchanged angry words at Wembley

Richard Riakporhe insists Chris Billam-Smith has made a mistake by agreeing to fight him and has vowed to knock his cruiserweight rival out in the first round.

Riakporhe is expected to secure his long-awaited shot at a world title later this year in a prospective fight against Billam-Smith, who captured the WBO title last May with victory over Lawrence Okolie.

The pair previously met back in July 2019, when Riakporhe emerged victorious via split decision over 10 rounds to hand Billam-Smith his first and, so far, only career defeat.

"He's got one loss on the record, on his impressive record," Riakporhe told Sky Sports News. "I'm just going to do it again, that's the plan, I need to double that number, that's the aim, that's my goal.

"What makes it so much better and tantalising is that there's a world title belt on the line. I have the confidence already because I beat him already. But because this world title's on the line, I feel like I'm just ready to go to another place."

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Highlights of Richard Riakporhe's devastating win by TKO over Dylan Bregeon inside two rounds

Riakporhe has passed the test of patience on his lengthy journey towards the world title stage. Now on the brink of his dreams, he says fans are primed to "witness greatness".

"I want to put on a performance that cannot be questioned," he said. "People are going to know the difference between me and The Gentleman. There's a big difference. I believe that I'm a level above.

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An undefeated Riakporhe has won 13 of his 17 bouts by way of knockout, most recently stopping Dylan Bregeon in the second round last November in preparation for an eventual clash against Billam-Smith.

Whether he concedes rounds or not, The Midnight Train holds an unwavering trust in his ability to prevail with his one-punch knockout ferocity.

Both fighters have developed significantly since their first meeting five years ago; Riakporhe believes he remains the better man and has promised to haunt his opponent yet again.

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WBO cruiserweight champion Chris Billam-Smith joins Sky Sports' Andy Scott to reflect on his nervy win against Mateusz Masternak after he defeated the Polish fighter in his title defence

"There are fights that I've been in where I didn't come with the intention to win the rounds, I just want the knockout," he said. "I actually want to knock out every single opponent I face.

"That's my gift. I just know how to do it. Check my track record, my last five fights all KOs within the distance and that's against decent opposition.

"I do believe that power is enough to deal with Chris Billam-Smith. My power in particular is enough to deal with him. No matter whether he's winning rounds or not. I just need to land the correct shot and he's gone.

"I'm going for the KO, that's all I want to do. Chris Billam-Smith has made a big mistake. He's going to be looking back 20 years from now, regretting taking this fight and I'm going to still be visiting him in his dreams like Freddy Krueger."

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Highlights of Chris Billam-Smith's stoppage win over Mateusz Masternak to retain his world title

Billam-Smith showcased his own rise by toppling a previously-unbeaten Okolie in front of his home fans in Bournemouth last year, offering Riakporhe a reminder of the task at hand in the process.

Having neutralised the awkward style of Okolie, Billam-Smith must not quash the power of Riakporhe.

"I plan to knock him out in the first round, I just believe that I have what it takes," Riakporhe said.

"I remember doing talks on Sky Sports, live punditry, and they asked me the same thing and I said yeah I reckon I'll get him out of there between one to three.

"I feel like I've levelled up again. I said I believe I can do it within three. Now I believe I can do it within one. I feel like I was disrespecting myself when I was saying within three. I don't need that much time."

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