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Richard Riakporhe Richard Riakporhe
Richard is preparing for his next fight in March. Richard is a rising boxing sensation and the current WBA Cruiserweight Champion achieving within two years of turning pro.

21/02/2019 10PM | GUEST | Karina H Maynard


Richard Riakporhe is preparing for his next fight in March. Richard is a rising boxing sensation and the current WBA Cruiserweight Champion achieving within two years of turning pro.


The 6’5 South-Londoner Riakporhe put on a spectacular display of power as he inflicted a gruesome eye injury on Same Hyde in the eighth round, gaining another win to his untarnished record in the Manchester Arena.


Hyde had been up on all three of the judges' scorecards at the time of the stoppage when trainer Joe Gallagher threw the towel in the eighth round to call a halt the contest.


Previously unbeaten in 14 contests the Mancunian cruiserweight was pulled by his corner after Riakporhe landed a thunderous right-hand causing damage on Hyde’s left eye, who struggled after his vision increasingly became more limited.


Riakpohre now holds a record of 8-0 and secured the WBA Inter-Continental title.


'I was down on the scorecards, so I had to pull it out of the bag,' said Riakpohre, who is mentored by Dillian Whyte.


A gracious opponent and gentleman Riakporhe offered a message of support to opponent Hyde: https://twitter.com/R_Riakporhe/status/1061644344049000449



He has been vocal about the need for mental health support in particularly in sports as seen on SkySports


At 15 years old Richard Riakporhe was stabbed and nearly died.


He now teaches kids around the UK about the dangers of knife crime.


He's also the current WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight champion and says that boxing helped change his life. He told us his story from being on the streets of south-east London to becoming a boxing champion.


He shares his experiences:

As a youth, I wondered the streets of London in hope to find acceptance, respect, admiration, and love...


At the time I was extremely passionate about football and had one dream only which was to become a professional football player. I went from playing religiously with my brother on the nappy uneven grass of Burgess Park, completely oblivious to the dangerous environment, which awaited us at any given moment, where we practiced before picking up our ball and making our journey home. It was then when my initial desires evolved, and I began to lust for power, women, attention, and fame.


I got involved in this street culture from around the age of 12, for about 10 years.


This led me to find pain, havoc, endless want, and paranoia.


I finally woke up and smelt the coffee after I began to get in trouble with the police then eventually ended up in prison.


In addition, I suffered a traumatic near-death experience when I was stabbed in the chest at the age of 15. Despite being stabbed, the lure of the streets still pulled me in. And when the streets pull you in, it’s hard to resist. As a result, I kept getting in trouble. That was until I had two life-defining moments. The first one was my cousin being shot which brought home the reality of the life I was living, and it took me a while to come to terms with the shock and loss. That was bigger to me than being stabbed myself and made me realise how little I valued my own life. But my ultimate life-changing moment, and I would call it my life-saving moment was being gifted the most valuable thing in the world; a child. It gave me a purpose bigger than myself.


Having a child gave me a huge sense of responsibility and forced me to mature faster. I decided to pursue the sport of boxing. After being shown some drills and techniques by an old friend, he suggested that I tried going to a local boxing gym, to see if I had what it took to get anywhere in this tough sport.


I started with amateur contests in 2009. My boxing coaches realized that I had decent potential and also a very powerful punch, which was reflected in my record of a 70 percent knockout ratio. Within two years I became a national champion, six months after I was an international champion.


The events that have taken place in my life so far have developed a strong mental fortitude within me and have benefited me hugely in the field of boxing. Partaking in sport gave me purpose and kept me occupied all year round. Having to compete every two weeks to a month and not to mention the short notice of fights, kept me engaged and occupied. I was literally too tired after training to hang around with bad influences, yet too focused and filled with the desire to become very successful in my field.


My ultimate dream was to fight at the Olympics, but instead, I sacrificed it to pursue a course at university. Boxing and studying both need a massive time commitment and I decided that if I graduated in 2015, I would still be young enough to jump back into boxing afterward, but with the pro ranks as my aim.


I graduated in 2015 as planned with a degree in Marketing Communications and Advertising from Kingston University. Shortly after, I pursued my passion by becoming a professional boxer. My brother and I now give talks to many institutions such as colleges, schools, and businesses, offering programmes with lots of other tailored elements to suit each one. Our dream is to positively influence people all over the world sharing our stories, knowledge, and experiences. My personal goal is to become a unified world champion and every fibre inside me will work towards that goal until it is complete.


 

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