RICHARD RIAKPORHE settled his rivalry with fellow London cruiserweight Deion Jumah inside eight rounds at Wembley Arena on Saturday (March 26).
Both started cautiously with Jumah, a southpaw, shifting his head and body as he looked for ways round Riakporhe’s long jab. Riakporhe was reluctant initially to commit to his punches, throwing little as Jumah drove his back hand left into the body and flung across a right hook where he could find an opening.
But when Riakporhe did let his hands go he was dangerous. Jumah stepped off when he felt the weight of Richard’s back hand and in the fourth round Riakporhe caught him on the end of a monstrous cross. It dropped Jumah heavily on his back. But remarkably Jumah rose, survived that round and fought his way through the next.
Deion recomposed himself admirably and when he pressed forward to close down Riakporhe’s space worked at him with his lead right hook. But trusting his power Riakporhe continued to be patient. When he increased his workrate he had more effect and in the eighth round a single, savage straight right lanced into Jumah’s body. He crumpled beneath it. Struggling to get his breath back Deion crawled forward but this time, 34 seconds into the round, he could not beat the count. It had been scheduled for 12.
Riakporhe’s power punching was impressive. But if he is going to rise higher in the world rankings, he still needs to show more. He won’t always be able to rely on that finishing power.
After his original opponent was ruled out days before the fight, Dan Azeez didn’t find it easy to get to grips with late notice replacement Reece Cartwright, who acquitted himself well. Cartwright tagged Azeez as he came in but the power was with the reigning British light-heavyweight champion. As this non-title 10-rounder progressed Azeez ground into gear, gradually bringing up the pressure. By the eighth round he was motoring. He wobbled Cartwright with a right cross to the jaw and hurt him with an uppercut to head. Azeez continued to unleash ferocious punches. As Cartwright staggered away from the ropes, Azeez hammered him across the ring, back into the strands and trapping him continued the assault. Eventually Cartwright’s corner threw in the towel.
Adam Azim might have made it look easy but his lightening quick stoppage of Connor Marsden was still highly impressive. Marsden is not only a towering lightweight and the Southern Area champion (not on the line here) but had also been an accomplished amateur himself. But Azim shot out of his corner and, after a brief exchange, drove a left with astonishing power into the Londoner’s chin. It toppled Marsden. Connor rose, shaken and Azim pounced again. His left swept down and he thumped Marsden on to the canvas. Referee Mark Bates stopped him there, just 30 seconds into the scheduled eight rounder. It was only Azim’s fourth pro fight. The Slough fighter is going places, quickly.
Tokyo Olympian Caroline Dubois looked dangerous in her second professional contest. The southpaw threw rapid straight one-twos to set up lead right hooks to Martina Horgasz’s body. Dubois continued to look for that shot and sinking it in with punishing force saw Horgasz wilt visibly, referee Bates saving her after just 58 seconds.