Ahead of Richard Riakporhe’s IBF cross-country title eliminator against Fabio Turchi, Johnny Nelson looks at comparisons between the Briton and Deontay Wilder and discusses what he wants to see from Riakporhe over the weekend.
Time is everything for Richard and the challenges increase so little, the interests increase so much more – and so does his faith.
I keep saying it but for now, Richard doesn’t have the confidence to match his ability, despite being 14-0. Once he gets to that point, you won’t see a way to beat this kid.
People have suggested that Richard is a cruiserweight Deontay Wilder but I think Richard is more educated.
Wilder could depend wholeheartedly on his fist power. He could be losing a fight to the last second of the last round and then still be saved from his raw power.
Deontay was a brute force but technically, I think Richard is better. His boxing IQ looks better.
Saturday’s fight will be a test for him. He is number 12 in the IBF rankings and he is fighting for number 11, so it means something to his development and where he stands in the division.
The loss to Tommy McCarthy is the only one of Turchi’s career, although he has fought many guys with more losing records than winning.
However, he is above Richard in the rankings so it will be a challenge I am looking forward to seeing.
I want to see Richard use his strength and subtlety. I don’t want him to procrastinate and say, ‘look, I can show you how well I can box’. I want him in and out right away.
Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either.
He has to use his power, which has excited people.
With Ilunga Makabu perhaps on the horizon for Richard, another southerner in Turchi is a good preparation.
Promoting things further, and a fight with WBO champion Lawrence Okolie is one to excite us British. Among all cruisers, these two must be respected.
The only difference between the two at the moment is that Okolie has proven it, he is a world champion. Richard hasn’t had that chance yet but he’s definitely on the right track.
Speaking of Sky Sports about Turchi, Riakporhe said: “The way I rate it, he’s just another opponent I have to deal with very well and we’re going for the knockout.
“He reminds me of Mike Tyson. He’s always moving, he’s always throwing big shots, those evil hands. He can be a little dirty, too.
“He likes to use his head, so we’ll make sure we have a word with the referee so they know. I feel like after I detonate those bombs, he’s going to be out of there.
“I think this is going to be the best performance of my career. I’m going to win a fist contest if that happens.”
Watch Richard Riakporhe vs Fabio Turchi live at Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Performance starting at 7pm on Saturday.
Olympic gold medalist Lauren Price MBE will also make her professional debut on the card.