Richard Riakporhe is aiming for another stoppage win as he prepares to face Fabio Turchi in a world title eliminator at Wembley Arena on Saturday.
The cruiserweight contest, which is the headline bout of this weekend’s BOXXER show live on Sky Sports, has been granted eliminator status by the IBF and will push the winner a step closer to a shot at the belt currently held by Mairis Briedis.
Riakporhe, currently ranked 12th by the IBF, is coming off an eighth-round stoppage of Deion Jumah in March at the same venue and is vowing the same outcome against 11th-ranked Turchi.
“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 Sky Sports.
“He reminds me of a Mike Tyson. He’s always moving, he’s always throwing big shots, those loopy hands.
“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.
“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 feel like once I detonate those bombs, he’s going to be out of there in no time.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
“We’re in a great position. They’re doing a great job because we’re not only ranked with the WBC, we’re ranked throughout other boards now and we’re fighting for a very high position in the IBF.
“Some championships might be tied up and they might have mandatories they need to fight for before they can discuss with us, and some might not be. There might be obstacles out there and they might disappear, and vice-versa.
“I just learnt to take every fight which is in front of me and deal with that, and leave it all to my team to discuss, but I’m game, I’m ready to fight any champion. I believe in myself – I fancy my chances against every fighter there is.”
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