Billam-Smith vs Riakporhe WBO cruiserweight title on June 15th

Chris Billam-Smith is gearing up for his second defense of the WBO cruiserweight title, scheduled for June 15 at Selhurst Park against his long-time adversary, Richard Riakporhe.

This anticipated showdown has been brewing for months, with Billam-Smith initially eager to defend his title in front of his devoted Bournemouth supporters at the Vitality Stadium, where he claimed victory over Lawrence Okolie last year. However, circumstances have led to a change in venue, with the bout now set to unfold at Selhurst Park in London.

The 33-year-old champion and Riakporhe first squared off as promising prospects back in 2019, with Riakporhe emerging victorious via a split decision at the O2 Arena. Interestingly, the O2 Arena was also considered as a potential location for their highly anticipated rematch.

Billam-Smith made his inaugural title defense in December at the Bournemouth International Centre, securing an eighth-round retirement victory over the resilient Polish veteran, Mateusz Masternak.

Under the guidance of trainer Shane McGuigan, Billam-Smith boasts an impressive record of 19-1 (13 KOs). Meanwhile, his 34-year-old challenger, with a record of 17-0 (13 KOs), last stepped into the ring in November, clinching a routine stoppage win over Frenchman Dylan Bregeon.

Selhurst Park, home to the Premier League soccer club Crystal Palace, offers a grand stage for this championship clash, with a seating capacity of over 25,000 fans for soccer matches.

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