BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Richard Riakporhe is the new British cruiserweight champion after a unanimous points decision win over Jack Massey last night.
The Walworth fighter won by scorecards of 115-113 (twice) and 117-111, the latter looking very generous in what was widely perceived to be a close bout.
Massey was knocked down in the 10th round and was also wobbled in a few other rounds by the big punching South Londoner – his vaunted right hand connecting cleanly.
But the fight was a poor spectacle with referee Phil Edwards warning the pair on numerous occasions to tidy up their work and cut out persistent clinching.
Riakporhe seemed to be the worst offender in that respect and was issued a final warning in the latter stages. He was very fortunate not to be deducted a point. Edwards also gave him a ticking off for throwing punches after the bell had sounded to end one of the rounds.
Riakporhe moves to 11-0.
“It’s a great feeling – I had to grind in there,’ he said. “I had to dig it out of me. I had Dillian Whyte [his manager] screaming from the corner and Mark Tibbs and Jimmy Tibbs [his corner team]. I’m blessed.
“He’s tough – I got him with some powerful shots that would have put a lot of other cruiserweights away.”
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD