Written by Laurence Gill
BOXXER, fresh off starting their new partnership with Sky Sports, return to our screens this Saturday with an exciting card featuring some of the best young British boxers around; capped off by a fascinating main event in Richard Riakporhe vs Olanrewahu Durodola.
Riakporhe returns to action very soon after his last fight, which took place at the start of October, however this came after a long period of inactivity across the pandemic, so Riakporhe may well still be feeling fresh and ready to go. Riakporhe looks to potentially be a World Championship level fighter if he can keep progressing at the rate he is; with his win over Chris Billam-Smith looking better and better as time goes on.
Riakporhe is an interesting fighter, being only at the start of his professional career, but also turning 32 years old in January, and not having the amateur pedigree you might expect from someone turning pro at that age. So Riakporhe doesn’t have time to hang around in his career, and Durodola is the perfect challenge at this point. Durodola has been in the ring with some of the best Cruiserweights in the world, most notably Mairis Briedis. Durodola also sits at number 5 in the WBC Cruiserweight rankings, so a win for Riakporhe could set him up nicely to move for a final eliminator to become mandatory for the WBC Cruiserweight Championship, despite recent news that Canelo Álvarez is planning on moving up to 200lbs to fight for that championship.
Riakporhe ready to level up | Sky Sports
Riakporhe stands tall in the division at 6’5, meaning he’ll have 2.5 inches height advantage this Saturday. This should be useful for keeping Durodola at distance where Riakporhe can land powerful jabs and right hands. Riakporhe is rightfully known for his one-punch knockout power in his right hand, but he has done serious damage with his heavy, clubbing, jab in previous fights.
Riakporhe is a measured fighter, only throwing punches he thinks he can land; this has benefits, as there are fewer opportunities for his opponents to land a counter, and he maintains his power and output late into the fight, landing a concussive overhand right in the final round of his most recent fight where lesser fighters would have been to fatigued to do so. However, I would like to see Riakporhe just start to increase the volume and tempo in this fight; to really show he can be World Championship calibre. Neat straight punches and power in both hands can take you far, but Riakporhe needs more than that to go to the very top.
Durodola provides the perfect challenge in that regard: a wise, canny fighter who has been in there with a lot of real talent, and also carries huge power to punish any fighter who gets too reckless in the ring with him. Durodola won’t make it easy for Riakporhe in there, but he’s now 41 years old, and has been a pro for over a decade, and that’s starting to show. If Riakporhe can provide a lively, skilled performance, without taking too much damage from Durodola, then he can rightfully claim a place at the true upper echelons of the 200lb division.
Durodola rolls the dice once more | Ringnews24
Fighters Form – Last Five Fights
Krzysztof Twardowski WIN by UD 02/10/21
Jack Massey WIN by UD 19/12/19
Chris Billam Smith WIN by SD 20/07/19
Tommy McCarthy WIN by TKO (Rd 4) 02/03/19
Sam Hyde WIN by TKO (Rd 8) 10/11/18
Olarewaju Segun WIN by TKO (Rd 4) 19/10/20
Abraham Tabul WIN by TKO (Rd 3) 01/02/20
Vikapita Meroro WIN by TKO (Rd 3) 30/11/19
Kabiru Towolawi WIN by UD 20/09/19
Michael Godwin WIN by TKO (Rd 2) 30/07/19
Date: November 20th, 2021
Time: 7pm (GMT)
Venue: Wembley Arena, London
Channel: Sky Sports Boxing
Elsewhere On The Card
In the chief support there’s an old fashioned 50/50 tear up in the form of Dan Azeez vs Hosea Burton for the British Light Heavyweight Championship. Burton is a stunningly tall 6’4 for a 175lb fighter, and uses his size well with long jabs and looping right hooks, where Azeez is slicker and does aggressive work on the inside. Whether the fight remains mainly at distance or up close will probably end up the deciding factor in this one, but both men will be coming to win.
The undercard is brimming with talent also, with two-time world title challenger and former Olympian Natasha Jonas appearing after Caroline Dubois had to pull out due to illness, while undefeated prospects Florian Marku and Mikael Lawal also feature