Saturday night at the OVO Arena in Wembley, London is the setting, as Richard Riakporhe looks to take a step closer to a world title shot, as he takes on Fabio Turchi in an IBF cruiserweight title eliminator.
Sky Sports televise Riakporhe vs Turchi in the UK, and BOXXER promote.
Riakporhe (14-0, 10 KOs) is in a rich vein of form, and has been steadily building towards true world class level of late.
The Londoner is a former British champion, and holds wins over Chris Billam-Smith (SD10) and Tommy McCarthy (KO4), who have both gone on to become European champions.
After nearly two years away, the 32-year-old returned in October 2021, and eased to a points win over eight to shake off the rust, and then took out former WBC title challenger, Olanrewaju Durodola in five rounds a month later.
Riakporhe was due to face Turchi in March this year, but the Italian had to withdraw due to injury. In stepped Deion Jumah, and he was competitive before being knocked out with a body shot in the eighth.
Turchi (20-1, 14 KOs) is now fit to fight, and will represent a more than winnable test for ‘The Midnight Train’.
Based in Florence, the 28-year-old’s sole career defeat came in October 2019, when he dropped a split decision in his home country to the aforementioned McCarthy.
’Stone Crusher’ has won three on the spin since, and picked up fringe IBF and EU belts along the way. He was last out in December 2021, stopping Vukasin Obradovic inside a round.
Prediction: Riakporhe is a talent, and always figures out the puzzle in order to take the win. Turchi’s limitations were exposed by McCarthy, and I can’t see him keeping his opponent at bay for twelve rounds. I fancy the home favourite to take Turchi out in the later rounds.
Kongo tackles Formella
An interesting undercard clash takes place at welterweight, where Chris Kongo takes on Sebastian Formella over a scheduled ten rounds, with the vacant WBC International Silver title on offer to the winner.
Kongo (13-1, 7 KOs) was dropped and out hustled over ten by Michael McKinson McKinson last March, but has won an eight round decision since.
Formella (23-2, 11 KOs) is best known for wide points defeats to Shawn Porter and Conor Benn, but the German returned last September to halt Gabor Kovacs in four.
Prediction: Kongo should secure victory on the cards.
Brown battles Chelli
The English super middleweight title is also at stake, as Germaine Brown defends his strap against Zak Chelli.
Brown (12-0, 3 KOs) won the belt with a clear points win over Charlie Schofield last time out, and now meets Fulham-based, Chelli (11-1-1, 6 KOs) who has won an Ultimate BOXXER tournament and holds decent wins over Umar Sadiq and Mike McGoldrick.
Prediction: Chelli is tall and rangy, and can take a points win.
Rising, unbeaten cruiserweight prospect, Viddal Riley fights for the second time this year after stopping Willbeforce Shihepo in February.
Olympic Gold medalist, Lauren Price makes her much-anticipated professional bow at middleweight and big-punching, Joe Pigford (19-0, 8 KOs) looks to extend his undefeated run. All three are awaiting confirmation on opponents.