Whyte vs Rivas: Whyte v Rivas Live . Richard Riakporhe survived a knife attack before becoming cruiserweight contender
When I talk to people about it, they didn’t believe it was even possible to get to where I am now,” the 29-year-old told Sky Sports. “Virtually dying to changing my life completely around, graduating from uni, turning pro, and just being successful so far. Achieving this much at this stage.”
Riakporhe now tours schools, telling students how he left behind his treacherous lifestyle and graduated from Kingston University before his boxing talent gained recognition from world-ranked heavyweight Whyte.
Having racked up a succession of wins, Riakporhe demonstrated his raw power in sparring sessions with Whyte, who agreed to guide his career in a hotly contested domestic division.
After fighting back to halt Sam Hyde and a ruthless stoppage of Tommy McCarthy, he now faces the unbeaten Chris Billam-Smith.
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“I just feel like my will, my heart and my determination is second to none,” said Riakporhe when reflecting on the qualities required in his next fight.
“That alone beats most fighters. It’s hard to beat a man that is not going to back down, let alone can box, and has a decent repertoire, boxing ability and skill. It’s virtually impossible.
Victory would propel Riakporhe further up the rankings and even closer to an explosive shootout with Lawrence Okolie, the current British and Commonwealth king.
Riakporhe knows that his raw edges remain, regardless of long hours with trainer Mark Tibbs.
“I’m not saying I’m perfect, I’m not a perfect individual or human being. I still make mistakes like everybody else does. But I feel like what’s the point of living if we’re not bringing value to the world.