Dillian Whyte: Richard Riakporhe should target Lawrence Okolie after he wins on Saturday night

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Richard Riakporhe

is being backed to successfully defend his WBA intercontinental title tomorrow night – by the man who is headlining the show at Greenwich’s 02 Arena.

Brixton heavyweight Dillian Whyte manages the Walworth fighter. Riakporhe faces Chris Billam-Smith – with both boasting unbeaten records.

Whyte tops the card as he meets dangerous Colombian Oscar Rivas.

Riakporhe, 29, has chained together stoppage wins over prospects Tommy McCarthy and Sam Hyde.

He has eight knockouts from his nine victories.

“Richard is on a good run now and he’s got a lot of confidence behind him,” said Whyte.

“The people he’s fighting and beating, I believe his résumé is a lot better than Lawrence Okolie’s so far. If he beats Billam-Smith in good fashion, which I believe he will do, then he should be looking to fight the likes of Lawrence Okolie by the end of the year.

“Billam-Smith is a good boxer, he’s undefeated – he’ll be confident – but Richard carries a lot of power, he’s on a roll and I think he can stop Billam-Smith in six or seven rounds.

“With Richard, it’s all about the people he has around him, and the mindset that those people give him. He’s ready to defeat most of these guys in the cruiserweight division worldwide.”

Lewisham light-heavyweight Dan Azeez also has a crossroads bout on the Matchroom Boxing event.

The 29-year-old (8-0) challenges for the vacant Southern Area belt.

Canning Town’s Charlie Duffield (7-1) stands in his way.


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