There’s a new kid on the block, and his name is Viddal Riley.
Sound familiar? That’s because he is best known as the former trainer and close friend of British YouTube personality ‘KSI‘ Olajide Olatunji.
He guided his former charge to two famous victories over fellow social media influencers Logan Paul and Joe Weller, and is widely credited with helping to usher in a new era of celebrity or ‘showbiz’ boxing.
Riley, 24, has built his own social media empire off the back of that success, boasting over two million followers across his personal Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts.
But despite the huge publicity and exposure, however, Riley is in no rush as he insists he is just taking it all in his stride.
In an exclusive interview Riley told GIVEMESPORT: “There’s loads of different ways to make it to the top.
“We’ve seen Lawrence Okolie, who has had a rapid growth and a rapid progression, but that doesn’t have to be everyone’s journey.
“Some people take their time, I want to take my time, because I know that in the cruiserweight division, heavyweight division, you get better with age as well, you mature like a fine wine.”
“I don’t want anyone to make excuses for me, I want to fight these guys, and let’s just see how it goes.”
For his most recent bout, against Muhammad Abdullah, Riley – who scored back-to-back first-round finishes in his first two professional bouts – spent months training with Floyd Mayweather‘s uncle Jeff Mayweather.
But the 24-year-old has now moved back closer to home as he revealed he will be trained for his next bout by his dad Derrick Riley at West Ham Boxing Club, where he took his first steps in the sport.
The unbeaten prospect first picked up the gloves at the world-renowned gym in London when he was just six years old.
He added: “My dad is actually my coach now but he’s the guy that taught me basically everything I know anyway, he’s the one that got me into it, so it feels good to be back working with him on a full-time basis.
“Boxing helped us strengthen our relationship not only as a trainer and a fighter but also a father and a son. Obviously to be a good trainer you need to be able to understand the person you’re training and because of that we’ve definitely become a lot closer as a family.
“You know, not everyone is close to their parents, but I’m lucky I’m close to both of my parents. I don’t really talk about my mum as much because she doesn’t really have a lot to do with the boxing side of things but she’s also been very helpful with taking me to places up and down the country over the years.”
Riley (4-0, 2 KOs) has won four straight fights, a streak that dates back to November 2018.
So it’s no surprise that the likes of Chris Billam-Smith, 31, Isaac Chamberlain, 27, and former British champion Richard Riakporhe, 31, have all been mentioned as future possible opponents.
Riley and Billam-Smith have fought once before, as amateurs, and Riley won clearly. A rematch would surely attract a big crowd and bring in huge numbers.
And while he admits the thought has crossed his mind several times, he insists he is still ‘a long way off that at the moment’.
He continued: “Who knows, who knows? Chris Billam-Smith, if he continues on the path he’s on, he could be at world level in his next couple of fights.
“A lot of people compare me to the Billam-Smith’s, the Riakporhe’s, the Chamberlain’s of this world, because those are the big names right now in the division.
“But they’re also guys that have minimum, probably four years on me, they’re five years, even Richard is seven years older than me.
“So as much as I’m compared to these guys I may miss a lot of them, but a few may hang behind, a few may fall behind and end up crossing paths with me.
“To be honest I feel like that generation is ahead of me, but they are the best, and it’s always a compliment to be compared to the best fighters in the country in my division.”