Billam-Smith vs Riakporhe announced for Selhurst Park

LONDON, UK (April 23, 2024) – It’s game on for Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe in a historic all-British summer stadium world title showdown for the WBO World Cruiserweight Championship on Saturday June 15th at Selhurst Park, the home of Crystal Palace F.C, live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and Peacock in the USA.


Defending champion Billam-Smith (19-1, 13 KOs) will be looking to avenge his only career defeat when he makes the second defence of his WBO World Title against big punching South Londoner and Crystal Palace fan Riakporhe (17-0, 13 KOs).

‘The Gentleman’ captured the WBO World Title in May 2023 with a memorable win over former stablemate Lawrence Okolie, downing the undefeated champion three times en route to having his hand raised in front of his home fans at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth.

Riakporhe will get his long-awaited shot at world honours in front of his fellow ‘Eagles’ as the Crystal Palace fan fights at South London’s historic Selhurst Park stadium.

‘The Midnight Train’ is the only man to hold a win over Billam-Smith in the professional ranks. The pair first squared off at the O2 Arena in July 2019 for the WBA Intercontinental Title with Riakporhe judged to have got the better of his cruiserweight rival and awarded a split decision win.

Fans attending the huge GAME ON! show will be part of history as boxing returns to Selhurst Park in its centenary year.

The epic Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe clash kick-offs a huge summer of world-class sport with a blockbuster night of world championship boxing and celebrations. Undercard fights will be revealed in the coming days.

A percentage of every ticket sold will be donated to the Palace For Life Foundation, the official charity of Crystal Palace F.C, which has been working with the community for over 25 years, helping young people grow through the power of sport, inspiring them to find a better path in life and to lead a healthier life.

Chris Billam-Smith said: “I’m looking forward to giving the Bournemouth fans an away day to remember with an explosive performance, live on Sky Sports. Richard is a good fighter, but I’ve improved hugely since we last met and he’s going to be in for a terrible night at Selhurst Park. The WBO belt is coming back with me to Bournemouth.”

Richard Riakporhe said: “My time has come. The countdown is on. I’m the runaway ‘Midnight Train’ that you cannot stop and it’s the end of the line for Chris Billam-Smith. I can’t wait to knock Chris out and take his title. I’ve beaten him once and I’m ready to do it again. This time it’s not going to the judges. He’s going to be out cold on the canvas and the world title is going to be staying in South London.

“It’s going to be an incredible feeling to fight at Selhurst Park in front of the Palace fans and to be part of a special moment for the club celebrating 100 years since the stadium opened. I’m proud to be from South London and be affiliated with a club like Crystal Palace. The support of the club and the fans means everything to me. I’m going to repay that support with a devastating performance on June 15th.”

BOXXER Founder and CEO Ben Shalom said: “We’re delighted to be working with Steve Parish and the team at Crystal Palace F.C to deliver a historic night of boxing at Selhurst Park as part of the stadium’s centenary celebrations. We have a huge main event with Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe going toe-to-toe for the WBO World Cruiserweight Title in this summer showdown.

“Chris Billam-Smith has huge support on the south coast, and we expect the AFC Bournemouth faithful to travel in huge numbers to support him as he puts his WBO World Title on the line against the only man to beat him. It’s a dream come true for Richard Riakporhe as he gets his World Title shot in front of his fellow Crystal Palace fans at Selhurst Park. With more big fight announcements to follow, this is the event in British Boxing not to miss this summer.”

Crystal Palace Chairman Steve Parish said: “We are absolutely delighted that professional boxing is returning to Selhurst Park, with one of south London’s own and big Palace fan, Richard Riakporhe, leading the billing alongside Chris Billam-Smith.

“Boxxer have put together a fantastic line-up for the occasion, and it already promises to be a spectacular night in SE25 – as well as a fitting tribute to our stadium’s centenary year.”

This event is presented in association with official partners bet365, Integritas Property Group and HELL Energy.

Ticket details to be announced shortly.

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