Boxxer have been pretty prolific of late, and they host a show at the Wembley Arena this Saturday night, with Richard Riakporhe contesting the vacant WBC Silver cruiserweight title in the headliner against Olanrewaju Durodola over a scheduled twelve rounds.
Riakporhe vs Durodola will be televised live on Sky Sports in the UK.
Riakporhe (12-0, 8 KOs) is keen to enhance his credentials at world level, having impressed domestically before being inactive from 2019 to 2021.
The 31-year-old stopped Sam Hyde when behind in eight rounds back in November 2018, followed by a fourth round stoppage of Tommy McCarthy, and then took a split decision win over current British, Commonwealth and European champion, Chris Billam-Smith.
The Londoner rounded off 2019 with a a points win over Jack Massey to take the vacant British title, but a hand injury kept him out of action until last month, where he dropped Krzysztof Twardowski on the way to an eight round points win.
He now faces Kansas-based Nigerian, Durodola (36-8, 33 KOs), who has previously held the WBC Silver crown and has been in with some decent names.
The 41-year-old was stopped in nine by Mairis Briedis in 2016, six months after stopping Dmitry Kudryashov in two, although Durodola was halted in five in a 2017 rematch.
Durodola challenged for the WBC world title at the end of 2020, stopped in seven in Zaire by Junior Mukabu. He has won two low-key fights since.
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Prediction: Riakporhe will want to put on a show, and gatecrash the world scene, and he can do that with an early win here. Once Durodola feels his power, the home favourite can score an early win inside three or four frames.
Burton and Azeez clash for Lonsdale belt
On paper, a cracker is expected in the vacant British light heavyweight title clash between former champion Hosea Burton and Dan Azeez.
Burton (26-2, 12 KOs) won the Lonsdale Belt back in 2016, but lost in his first defence to Frank Buglioni, halted in the final round when well ahead on the cards.
Seven confidence building wins followed, and a semi-final berth in the MTK Golden Contract tournament saw him taste defeat in Latvia in a gruelling ten round loss to Ricards Bolotniks, with Burton on the brink of being stopped down the stretch.
‘The Hammer’ returned in June, scoring a sixth round stoppage against Liam Conroy.
Azeez (14-0, 9 KOs) has been patiently awaiting his shot at the title, having served as English champion, and has taken wins against the likes of Andre Sterling (TKO9) and Ricky Summers (SD12) to get his opportunity.
The Londoner was last out in September, knocking out Ivo Zednicek in three.
Prediction: Although more experienced, I think Burton has had the more battle scars than the fresher Azeez, who I favour to take a tight points win.
Lawal meets Ward
The British title eliminator at cruiserweight between Mikael Lawal and Steven Ward was postponed at the eleventh hour last month with Ward injured, but the pair get it on this time.
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Ward (13-1, 4 KOs) has moved back up to cruiserweight after suffering a crushing first round defeat to Ricards Bolotniks in December 2019, and had a six round points win last time out.
Lawal (14-0, 8 KOs) ticked over in his rival’s absence with a third round stoppage of Benoit Huber.
Prediction: Lawal can get the job done inside schedule here.
Big ticket seller Florian Marku is in action, and the Albanian welterweight takes on France’s Jorick Luisetto over a scheduled eight.
Marku (9-0-1, 6 KOs) took a split decision win in September over Maxim Prodan, while Luisetto (11-2, 3 KOs) is coming off a six round points win.
Prediction: Marku can be the first to stop Luisetto in around four rounds.
Campbell, Jonas, Azim brothers feature
Heavyweight hope Nick Campbell (3-0, 3 KOs) continues his education, and the Jersey-based Scot can take out Danny Whitaker (4-5) early on in their six rounder.
Former world title challenger, Natasha Jonas makes her BOXXER debut, replacing Caroline Dubois who withdrew on Wednesday through illness. while there are appearances for Adam Azim (1-0) and debutant Hassan Azim.