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Billam Smith to defend WBO title against opponent

  • Billam-Smith to defend title against Riakporhe.

Chris Billam-Smith will defend his WBO cruiserweight title against Richard Riakporhe at Selhurst Park on 15 June.

Billam-Smith, 33, beat Lawrence Okolie for the world title in May last year.

It will be another all-British contest when Billam-Smith, also a Commonwealth and European champion, meets Riakporhe at the home ground of Crystal Palace.

Riakporhe is the only fighter to beat Billam-Smith professionally, in a split-decision win in July 2019 for the WBA Intercontinental title.

But Billam-Smith has remained unbeaten since, including retaining the cruiserweight crown by beating Mateusz Masternak in Bournemouth in December 2023.

“Richard is a good fighter, but I’ve improved hugely since we last met and he’s going to be in for a terrible night,” Billam-Smith said.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace fan Riakporhe, 34, posted on social media platform X that fighting at Selhurst Park is “a dream come true”.

“I’ve beaten him once and I’m ready to do it again,” he added. “This time it’s not going to the judges.”

Riakporhe was British cruiserweight champion from 2019 to 2020, and is unbeaten in his professional career, his most recent victory coming against Dylan Bregeon in November 2023.

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