It was an interesting experience at Wembley OVO Arena on Saturday night. Richard Riakporhe taking care of business against a decent opponent is becoming almost routine now but what I was most struck by was the diversity of the show which probably serves of some sort of indication of where Boxxer are heading as an entity. Hot prospect headlining, two evenly matched “trade” fights to keep the old school fans sweet, a female Olympian on her pro debut and a youtuber who is also an actual boxer. Interesting times.
Riakporhe delivered in the main event (which is the main measure of whether or not the punters are going to be happy so a big box to tick). A brutal left hook to the body of Fabio Turchi ended matters in the 2nd round. Turchi just about regained his feet by the count of ten but his corner wisely entered the ring with the towel right then to save him from any follow up damage. Riakporhe must surely be looking at a world title shot in the not too distant future.
Olympian Lauren Price looked to the manner born on her pro debut besting the tough Valgerdur Gustensdottir over six twos at Welterweight. Price’s footwork and work rate should carry her a long way.
One of the “trade fights was Zak Chelli vs Germaine Brown for the English super middleweight title. It was a nip and tuck affair at first with Chelli the busier but Brown landing the more eye catching shots. Slowly but surely and not for the first time in his career, Chelli’s superior work rate and willingness to engage began to tell and he gained a deserved unanimous verdict after ten rounds.
I was only vaguely aware of Viddal Riley as a boxer and it was only when I went looking for his twitter handle and found he had 400,000 followers did I twig that he wasn’t your average 5-0 prospect but a world famous youtuber. More than just a novelty act though, Riley has boxed for England as an amateur and should be a promotors crossover dream if he can continue winning and eventually mix in good company in the ring. Opponent Jone Volau looked quite badly hurt after a seemingly glancing blow and after a long career in the military with boxing after that, might want to consider his health and future.
Chris Kongo continued on the comeback trail with a UD victory over the ever game Sebastian Formella at Welterweight. Kongo will look to get back in the domestic title mix and Formella will have done his chances of future work no harm either. There’s plenty of opportunities for someone who comes to fight, will last the distance and will very likely lose.
Boxxer is becoming more slick with each show and a decent crowd certainly seemed to enjoy themselves (some particularly vociferous ladies from Newport supporting Lauren Price had clearly been enjoying themselves from at least lunchtime). I was slightly frustrated with the big gap between the Lauren Price fight (which went the distance) and the main event but I realise that there’s TV schedules to adhere to. Fortunately, The Midnight Train got it done early and I was back on my couch in time for Dubois v Bryan. A good night all round.
By Iain Dolan