Richard Riakporhe wants a rematch against Chris Billam-Smith after the latter won the WBO cruiserweight world title by beating Lawrence Okolie last weekend.
Billam-Smith got the decision after the end of a thrilling twelve rounds when Okolie was down three times at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth. It was the first defeat of Okolie’s professional career.
Riakporhe has handed Billam-Smith his only career defeat, on points in 2019.
“That’s big and that’s how we kind of envisioned the rematch, on that stage, at that level. And what better time? The time is now. Why not?” Riakporhe said on Sky Sports.
“So let’s just see how it all pans out. We’re going to have some meetings next week and we’re going to see what happens.
“I don’t want to take nothing away from CBS. CBS, you’ve done something amazing.
“You beat an undefeated champion and in that fashion, a few knockdowns and you won clearly.
“You have to give him respect or his due. I don’t want to come and rain down on the parade as well because it’s his night. But of course we want to let him enjoy that and then we can talk some business.”
Riakporhe added on Okolie, who has also been a potential opponent: “If anybody knows me they know I have much more to my game than Okolie anyway. I have good IQ now. I know what I’m doing. I have experience. He would have to deal with a lot more than just trying to take away my right hand.
“My last let’s say four fights, I’ve probably knocked them out with my left hand. So that’s something else that you need to think about.”
Riakporhe felt Billam-Smith did ship some damage from the big-hitting Okolie.
Riakporhe said: “He did look hurt but he really wanted to get that ‘W’ and he was ready to do whatever. I could see it in his eyes. I could see it in his demeanour, his body language. It was his night.
“They are hard men to beat, always. That’s why when you’re going up against a fighter like that, who you know has got heart, you just know you’re in for a long night.
“And if you don’t land that shot, it’s going to be a longer one.”