Richard Riakporhe is aiming for another win over the injury as he prepares to face Fabio Turchi in a world title eliminator at Wembley Arena on Saturday.
The cruiserweight bout, which will headline this weekend’s BOXXER show, live on air sportshas been awarded eliminator status by the IBF and will take the winner one step closer to a belt shot currently in the hands of Mairis Briedis.
Riakporhe, currently ranked 12th by the IBF, is coming off an eighth round stoppage from Deion Jumah in March at the same venue and promising the same result against Turchi in 11th place.
“As I estimate it, he’s just another opponent that I have to deal with in a great way and we’re going for the knockout,” said Riakporhe. air sports†
“He reminds me of a Mike Tyson. He’s always on the move, he’s always throwing big shots, those crazy hands.
“He can also be a little dirty – he likes to use his head so we’ll make sure we have a word with the referee so they know. I just see him as a different opponent.”
“I have a feeling that once I detonate those bombs, he’ll be out of there in no time.”
That knockout of Jumah was the 10th win within the distance of Riakporhe’s career, extending his unbeaten record to 14(10)-0.
Turchi, meanwhile, has retired 14 of his previous opponents in a 21-fight career, in which he suffered just one defeat – a split-decision loss to Tommy McCarthy – in 2019.
Nevertheless, Riakporhe is determined to blow the Italian away after seeing signs of progress during his training camp ahead of this clash.
“My camp to prepare for this fight has done me so much good,” said Riakporhe, who sparred with former opponent Jumah during the build-up.
I have a feeling if I detonate those bombs, he’ll be out of there in no time.
“I think this is going to be the best performance of my career. I’m going to win a game of punch, if that’s what it’s going to be.
“I just want to improve in every way. In the gym we made a pact that we strive to improve every performance and give the fans what they want. They want to see a fight, they want knockdowns and knockouts to see.
“We train for that in the gym and that’s why people like to watch Richard Riakporhe.”
While a win over Turchi would give the 32-year-old a boost in the IBF rankings, he is already seventh by the WBC and also 11th by the WBO.
The cruiserweight crown of the latter ratifying body is currently in the hands of British fellow fighter Lawrence Okolie and a huge domestic scrap between the duo for a world title may not be far off.
But Riakporhe is happy to meet one of the champions, as long as he achieves his goal of putting himself in position for a shot at a world title.
“I find it quite interesting and that’s why I have a great team – they work around the clock to make sure they can deliver to me what I want,” said Riakporhe.
“We’re in a great position. They’re doing a great job because not only are we ranked with the WBC, we’re now ranked on other boards and we’re fighting for a very high position in the IBF.
“Some championships may have stalled and they may have obligations that they have to fight for before they can talk to us, and others may not. There may be obstacles and they may disappear, and vice versa.
“I’ve just learned to take and deal with every fight in front of me, and leave it all up to my team to discuss, but I’m a game, I’m ready to fight any champion. I believe in myself – I imagine my chances against every fighter out there.”