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Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe in dressing-room row ahead of world title clash at Selhurst Park | Boxing News


A disagreement over who gets the home dressing room is threatening to boil over behind the scenes as Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe prepare to face off for the WBO cruiserweight world title at Selhurst Park this Saturday.

As defending champion, Billam-Smith is keen to exercise his right to the home dressing room, while Crystal Palace supporter Riakporhe, who played an instrumental role in bringing the fight to the home of the Premier League club, believes it should belong to him.


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Ahead of Billam-Smith’s fight with Riakporhe at Selhurst Park, take a look back at some of the biggest stadium fights in British boxing history

“Usually, the home fighter gets the first choice of dressing room,” explains promoter Ben Shalom.

“In this instance Chris is the champion but Richard is the local lad, he’s got the connection with the club, and he wants to be in the home dressing room.”

As it stands neither fighter is willing to budge, and with the fight night fast approaching a resolution is still required ahead of the stadium event.

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Watch the best moments from Riakporhe’s win over Billam-Smith by split decision in 2019

The British cruiserweight rivals previously met back in July 2019 when Riakporhe emerged victorious via split decision, handing now-champion Billam-Smith what remains his only career defeat to date.

Billam-Smith received the support of his home fans when he challenged, and ultimately beat, former world champion Lawrence Okolie at Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium last year.

Riakporhe is now preparing to welcome the 33-year-old into his own back yard in what will serve as his first world title opportunity.

Only 30 per cent of tickets remain for Billam-Smith vs Riakporhe. Get your tickets now via Boxxer.com.

Watch Chris Billam-Smith defend his WBO cruiserweight world title against Richard Riakporhe at Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park, live on Sky Sports on Saturday June 15.



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