As he prepares to face Fabio Turchi in a world title eliminator at Wembley Arena on Saturday, Richard Riakporhe is hoping for another stoppage victory.
Riakporhe, who is ranked 12th by the IBF, is coming off an eighth-round stoppage of Deion Jumah in March at the same location, and is looking for a repeat performance against Turchi, who is ranked 11th.
The IBF has granted the cruiserweight bout, which is the main event of this weekend’s BOXXER programme live, eliminator status, putting the winner one step closer to a shot at the belt now held by Mairis Briedis.
“The way I assess it, he’s just another opponent I need to deal with in great fashion and we’re going for the knockout,” Riakporhe told.
“He can be a bit dirty as well – 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 another opponent.
“He reminds me of a Mike Tyson. He’s always moving, he’s always throwing big shots, those loopy hands.
“I feel like once I detonate those bombs, he’s going to be out of there in no time.”
That knockout of Jumah was the 10th win inside the distance of Riakporhe’s career and extended his unbeaten record to 14(10)-0.
Turchi, meanwhile, has stopped 14 of his previous opponents in a 21-fight career which has seen him suffer 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,” Riakporhe, who has been sparring with former opponent Jumah during the build-up, said. “I think this is going to be the best performance of my career. I’m going to win a contest of punching power, if that’s what it becomes.
“I just want to improve in every single way. At the gym we made a pact that we aim to improve every single performance, and give the fans what they want. They want to see a fight, they want to see knockdowns and knockouts. “That’s what we train to do in the gym and that’s why people like to watch Richard Riakporhe.”
But Riakporhe is happy to face either of the champions, as long as he achieves his aim of putting himself in position for a shot at a world title. “I think it’s quite interesting and that’s why I’ve got an amazing team – they are working around the clock to make sure they can deliver me what I want,” Riakporhe said.
The latter sanctioning body’s cruiserweight crown is currently held by fellow British fighter Lawrence Okolie and a huge domestic scrap between the duo for a world title may not be far away. Although victory over Turchi would provide the 32-year-old with a boost as far as the IBF rankings are concerned, he is already ranked seventh by the WBC and 11th by the WBO as well.
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