Richard Riakporhe heaps praise upon Anthony Joshua ahead of London derby with Deion Jumah

  • Tom Ward

Richard Riakporhe has shown his appreciation for Anthony Joshua as he looks to take the next step in his career.

The former British cruiserweight champion returns to the ring on Saturday when he faces Deion Jumah at Wembley Arena.

And Angel Fernandez, Joshua’s trainer, will be cornering Riakporhe, who has spent the last year training with the Spaniard at Loughborough University.

Appearing on Sky Sports, Riakporhe was asked what it has been like to train with Fernandez as well as the advice he has received from his fellow Brit.

He said: “It’s been absolutely amazing.

“You have AJ in the camp, I get a lot of advice.

“He’s spoken to me about things that he’s been through and things that I have to watch out for.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 14: Richard Riakporhe trains during the BOXXER and Sky Sports Media Day ahead of the BOXXER and Sky Sports Boxing Fight Night at the OVO Wembley Arena on March 26th 2022 at Glaziers Hall on March 14, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

“Seeing him and what he’s achieved, having him around me, it’s more motivational for me as well.

“We want to achieve at least half of what he’s achieved and that keeps the hunger and energy, and he kind of feeds back off that at the same time because he sees us on the way up, and remembers those days when he was coming up, so wants to step up his game.”

Riakporhe, 32, was due to face Fabio Turchi on March 26 in London, in a fight which would have put him in prime position to fight for the WBC cruiserweight title later this year.

Fellow Londoner Jumah, also 32, replaced Turchi after an injury forced the Italian veteran to pull out.

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However, Riakporhe insists he has extra motivation going into his fight with replacement opponent Jumah, as it seems they have some history.

He added: “I’m always excited. It’s the same mission. Different opponent but same goal.

“In fact, I’m actually even more motivated for this fight than Turchi because there’s history.

“Sparring is sparring but this is more about who I am and what I’ve accomplished and who deserves what.

“I believe I’m here for a reason, whereas he’s just lucky on this occasion, but the bad luck is going to kick in again 26th March.”

In his last fight, Riakporhe beat Olanrewaju Durodola for the vacant WBC Silver cruiserweight title in five rounds at the same venue.

He has previously knocked out Ireland’s Tommy McCarthy in four rounds in March 2019.

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