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Chris Billam-Smith And Richard Riakporhe To Rematch Each Other After 5 Years, Date And Location TBA

Chris Billam-Smith And Richard Riakporhe To Finally Rematch Each Other This Year featured image
Chris Billam-Smith (right) and Richard Riakporhe in the WBA inter-continental Cruiserweight title fight at the O2 Arena, London. (Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images)

The long-awaited rematch between British cruiserweights Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe has been guaranteed to take place in the upcoming next months according to promotional outfit Boxxer who represents both boxers. Billam-Smith will be defending his WBO cruiserweight title against Riakporhe, driving up the stakes for their bout as the champion aims to revenge the sole loss he suffered to Riakporhe in 2019.

Almost five years following their July 20th bout in 2019, Chris Billam-Smith (19-1, 13 KO’s) has become a world champion following a win over then-incumbent WBO champion Lawrence Okolie in May of 2023. Richard Riakporhe (17-0, 13 KO’s). had been considered one out of three British cruiserweights to be deemed to have the potential to become a world champion but his near five-year journey has not seen him move up to compete at a world level.

Against Billam-Smith, Riakporhe will finally gain the opportunity to prove he is the best out of the trio of the three British elite cruiserweights. Billam-Smith’s victory granted him bragging rights over at least Okolie, but a difficult challenge still awaits the WBO champion as he faces a familiar opponent in Riakporhe who handed Billam-Smith his only loss on his resume thus far.

According to Boxxer chairman Ben Shalom, the fight is set as a mandatory fight, meaning that the WBO has set Riakporhe as the mandatory challenger to Billam-Smith.

That’s a fight that both fighters have signed to fight. It’s a mandatory fight and it’s guaranteed to happen next.Shalom reportedly told to Sky Sports.

While the WBO has not put out an official statement to confirm whether Riakporhe is actually the mandatory challenger to Billam-Smith’s WBO cruiserweight title, Riakporhe does currently occupy a position as the #1 on the WBO’s ranking boards.

Chris Billam-Smith And Richard Riakporhe To Finally Rematch Each Other This Year image 1
WBO’s cruiserweight rankings as of December, 2023.

Shalom also confirmed that the two fighters had signed to face each other, and that the date hinged on the recovery of a cut that Billam-Smith suffered at some point during his last match―and first successful defense of his WBO title―against Mateusz Masternak (47-6, 31 KO’s).

A battle between the two British cruiserweights may yet determine the best out of the trio of British cruiserweights who are vying for both domestic and global supremacy, but with Okolie still able to emerge into world title contention, the winner will likely face one last challenge in the aforementioned Brit before being able to be regarded as the best British cruiserweight of the current generation.