Richard Riakporhe sends world title message to Chris Billam-Smith ahead of Selhurst Park showdown

Richard Riakporhe insists his previous split-decision win over Chris Billam-Smith will give him the edge when the pair clash for the WBO cruiserweight title at Selhurst Park.

The pair clash on June 15 as part of the centenary celebrations of the home of Premier League outfit Crystal Palace. Last time they met, Riakporhe inflicted the only loss of Billam-Smith's career so far as they fought for the WBA Inter-Continental cruiserweight title on the undercard of Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas at the O2 in July, 2019.

The unbeaten south Londoner believes that success will work in his favour at Selhurst Park this summer. "It gives me a bit of a psychological edge because I know that I have beaten him before," he said.

"At the same time I don't like to rest on past victories. If you rest on past victories it can cloud your judgement, make you underperform and give you a false sense of security.

"He has come on leaps and bounds, gone the traditional route and become world champion."

Billam-Smith won the title at Bournemouth's Vitality Stadium last year, beating Lawrence Okolie by split decision before defending it against Mateusz Masternak in December. Now, though, he is gunning for a revenge win over Riakporhe.

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"Any fighter is going to want to avenge a loss," he said. "I'm grateful that I get that opportunity, that is what all the greats in history have done, they want to avenge it and that is what they do and I'm glad I get to do that.

"It is another football stadium for me, I had a special night last year. We tried to get it at Bournemouth again but I'm quite glad it is not.

"It gives me more motivation going into the lions' den and it will give me that buzz and makes the camp even more enjoyable."