Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe have signed to fight each other next; Billam-Smith is the champion but looking for revenge against Riakporhe, the only man to beat him as a pro; Selhurst Park or the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth are being considered for the WBO world title fight
Thursday 18 January 2024 21:14, UK
Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe will fight next for the WBO cruiserweight world title.
Promoter Ben Shalom revealed that Billam-Smith and Riakporhe have agreed to fight, and that it could take place at a football ground with dates at Bournemouth's Vitality Stadium and Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park being considered.
"That's a fight that both fighters have signed to fight. It's a mandatory fight and it's guaranteed to happen next. Another huge fight in British boxing," Shalom told Sky Sports.
"We're looking at dates at both Selhurst Park and the Vitality stadium."
Billam-Smith suffered a cut in his last fight, a successful world title defence against Mateusz Masternak, and so the fight date will only be set once that has healed.
"They've both signed to fight each other. Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe will fight each other next and we're waiting on Chris to update [on his cut] and then we can announce the date," Shalom explained.
Billam-Smith is the reigning world champion, but Riakporhe is the only man to have defeated him as a professional. They will rematch in all-British world title fight.
"It's something that Richard has worked towards a long time as people know. It's a rematch for Chris Billam-Smith, so it means a lot to him, the only loss on his record," Shalom said.
"A special fight in a division that's really thriving but also two guys that people really enjoy watching for different reasons.
"Chris Billam-Smith is a fan favourite and guy that always delivers entertainment and then Richard Riakporhe has phenomenal freakish power and it's just going to be an incredible moment, an incredible fight for both of them with so much on the line.
"I think Chris Billam-Smith will be a completely different fighter to the one that fought against Masternak. Richard needs to not read too much into it. A big fight that both fighters have both signed for.
"To have an all-British world title fight as a rematch is massive."
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