Sam Hyde vs Richard Riakporhe Preview
By Oliver McManus
This weekend, on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s monumental “all-the-belt’s” challenge against Oleksandr Usyk, two further explosive cruiserweights will go toe-to-toe over the course of 10 rounds for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental belt.
Sam Hyde, 13-0-1, and Richard Riakporhe, 7-0, will be putting their unbeaten records on the line with the winner moving one step closer to a domestic title shot – Lawrence Okolie the British champion and Arfan Iqbal the English kingpin.
Hyde, originally slated to appear on the Ultimate Boxxer 2 undercard, has been a professional since 2014 and, in Riakporhe, will be facing the most explosive opponent of his career thus far. Throughout his career, mind, Hyde has shown patience and maturity not to be affected by exterior circumstances and just focus on his own game-plan.
No stranger to the cameras of Sky Sports, Hyde featured on the Matchroom Boxing NXTGEN card back in February and if you look at that contest – against Toni Visic – and compare it to one of his earlier bouts, Jason Jones or Wayne Brooks for example, you can see that he looks more confident in his ability.
Standing dominant at the centre of the ring, Hyde packs some energy for a man weighing in at 200lbs with light footwork and left hooks to the body thrown with real menace – he’s a man that possess genuine knockout power but isn’t afraid to extend the bout and take his time to work openings.
Riakporhe, a gym-mate of Dillian Whyte, has seen his name thrust into the spotlight over the past 12 months and this is really his time to shine. Offered the fight with Lawrence Okolie previously Riakporhe turned the proposed bout down at the time but insists he is now ready to dance with the champion.
Six victories via knockout is a testament to his ferocious punching power and continual come-forward aggression. Make no mistake, though, Riakporhe is not a reckless fighter, he is very controlled in his output and whilst he was caught off-guard by Adam Williams earlier this year, the fighter is as staunch in defence as he is going forward.
A towering figure at 6ft 5inches, Riakporhe utilises a rangy left hook extended into the face of his opponent to disrupt their rhythm throughout the rounds before launching an attack of his own. Whilst his height if often used in a negative fashion by his opponents who, often, seek to hold and clinch, the muscular man has no issue in manoeuvring himself away.
Going under the radar, Hyde vs Riakporhe came out of nowhere really but it’s one to whet the appetite ahead of the main event with two hungry fighters going at it with heart and guts galore – don’t blink because there’s every chance you’ll miss it!