Chris Billam-Smith Predicts KO Victory Over Richard Riakporhe in World Title Fight at Selhurst Park - Latest Global News

Chris Billam-Smith Predicts KO Victory Over Richard Riakporhe in World Title Fight at Selhurst Park

Chris Billam-Smith says he will stop Richard Riakporhe inside the distance when he defends his WBO cruiserweight world title at Selhurst Park this Saturday.

For much of the lead-up to the World Cup, Riakporhe’s knockout exploits were one of the main talking points, but Billam-Smith has issued a statement of his own, declaring his devastating intention to spoil the party at the home of Crystal Palace, his opponents.

“I believe I will do the job 100 percent remotely,” said Billam-Smith.

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Watch the best moments from Riakporhe’s win over Billam-Smith by split decision in 2019.

“I think it’s too big a step for him. His last fight was in a small arena, he hasn’t headlined in a while, so it’s a huge step. The level of performance is a huge step as well.”

Riakporhe doesn’t buy it.

“I don’t believe him, he has never said that before,” said the challenger.

“They all say that, but it always turns out to be a wrong prediction.

“I think I’m going to knock this guy out.”

Billam-Smith won the WBO belt from Lawrence Okolie in Bournemouth last year to become world champion, but does not believe he is the favourite going into this weekend’s duel.

Not that he minds.

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Ahead of Billam-Smith’s fight against Riakporhe at Selhurst Park, we take a look back at some of the greatest stadium fights in British boxing history

“Absolutely. I think I’ll be the underdog again. It’s never bothered me. I love being the underdog. I just focus on myself and do what I have to do,” said Billam-Smith.

“I think this fight motivates me a lot more. The fact that the venue isn’t there is an extra motivation. I’m glad it’s here. I’d rather be here than at Vitality. This is a new dream, another Premier League stadium.”

“I wanted to play in the Premier League, but that was never the way, instead I fight here in their stadiums.”

The British rivals have disagreed this week over who will be granted access to the home team’s dressing room on Saturday, but Riakporhe believes that as a Palace fan, he should be entitled to it, having played a key role in bringing the fight to Selhurst Park.

But as champion, Billam-Smith has no intention of giving up the privileges that come with it.

“My team has fulfilled its task. We have the championship rights, the champion gets the dressing room at home, it looks nice in there,” he laughed.

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Don’t miss our latest episode of “The Gloves Are Off” featuring cruiserweight rivals Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe.

Billam-Smith had claimed in the run-up to the fight that Riakporhe’s efforts to demonstrate his boxing skills had damaged the knockout power that had enabled him to advance to the world title.

“This is complete nonsense. I think this is a psychological tactic to get into my head,” Riakporhe said. “I have real power.”

Riakporhe, meanwhile, has claimed he is a more evolved fighter since inflicting the only loss of his career on Billam-Smith in July 2019.

“I have improved so much, it will show, it has already shown in my fights,” he added.

“I look back at fights at national level and people said, ‘He’s not going to win the British title, he’s not going to come anywhere close to the European title.’ You can see my development, it speaks for itself. I’m fighting for a world title here.

“I always prove the doubters wrong. I have what it takes to not only hit that number at CBS, but much more.”

Riakporhe will enjoy the support of his home fans when he takes to the stage in south London on Saturday night and insists the pressure of battling at Selhurst Park will only drive him to victory.

“I tell everyone: Crystal Palace fans are the best in the world. They come and support their own people, that’s what it’s all about,” he said.

“This will give me more energy when we fight. I have never been in a situation where so many people are behind me. I always went into the other guy’s backyard and fought him.

“How can it change me for the worse? It will definitely make me fight better. Having my close friends around me gives me more determination and reminds me not to forget the path.”

Only 30 percent of tickets are still available for Billam-Smith vs. Riakporhe. Get your tickets now via Boxxer.com.

Watch Chris Billam-Smith defend his WBO cruiserweight world title against Richard Riakporhe at Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park, live on Sky Sports on Saturday June 15; Stream the fight with NOW – no contract, cancel at any time

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