Richard Riakporhe: ‘The limelight will be back on me‘

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Richard Riakporhe

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He’s been out a long time, but Richard Riakporhe comes back this weekend. In his own words he looks forward to boxing on Sky

IT was very frustrating being out of the ring for so long. I had to stay motivated, and just focus on training and perfecting my craft with Angel Fernandez. We wanted to make sure we tick all the boxes in every area, mentally, physically, and we did.

We know what we’re capable of. I’m blessed with a lot of power. Now we’re working on intelligence and boxing IQ so I’m looking forward to showcasing that.

I’ve committed myself to this game and I understand what it takes and I want to do this to the best of my ability for however long I can do it for.
I can do so much more. That’s what we’re working towards; fulfilling our potential. We want to get in there and be back out ASAP.

Now we’ve got the deal with Sky, we’re boxing on October 2 so we’re really happy.

I’m living in the moment and loving every every minute of this.

Sky promised they will deliver for me. They will do their part and I just need to focus on my part and there’s basically no limits.

I was worried at some points. I was having a look around the domestic scene and seeing my rivals, like Chris Billam-Smith and Tommy McCarthy, and they’re moving on. They’re fighting for titles and they’re winning championships and they’re doing really well. But the good thing was my stock’s kept on rising. I beat all of them and I’m undefeated. Though they’re progressing and doing well, I’ve got them on my resume, which makes me stand out.

But I don’t live off the hype and the talk or my past accomplishments. I always look forward. I know this game is about discipline and living the lifestyle.

But now the limelight is coming back to where it’s supposed to be. It’ll be shining on who it’s supposed to be shining on. I’ve learned to focus on myself, on what I can control. Everybody else is on their own path. One of the thieves of joy is comparison. Even though we’re athletes and we compete against each other, I’m happy I’ve got opponents and rivals I can look towards and think, ‘you know what, I need to step up my game’. Because it actually helps me train harder. It helps me get into my zone and keep that laser focus. It helps improve my game. I’m thanking them for staying active and being threats because it keeps me on my job.

I can see rematches with them happening. I’m here for the long run. As long as it makes sense, as long as there are titles and stuff involved, then of course 100%. Fighters for centuries have been rematching, there have been amazing rivalries and I definitely want to be part of that. I beat them so let me give them a chance to avenge their defeats, especially if they’re doing well and there’s titles on the line.

Lawrence Okolie is doing well, we have our eyes on him but at the same time we’re focusing on our career. I feel like for the last couple of years I was always chasing, chasing. But I’ve realised no more chasing; we’re attracting. That type of mentality changed and more opportunities came. If I continue doing what I’m doing, putting on the performances and getting the Ws then everything will come together. The fans are going to be pulling for it and the fans are the powerhouse of this sport. All of those fights can be made. On top of that there are other fighters in the cruiserweight division. We’re the new crop of cruiserweights coming through. Mairis Briedis, Ilunga Makabu, they’re pushing on to the end of their careers, then there’s this new crop coming through. And they’re know if they’re defending their titles against us hungry fighters, it’s going to be war.

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