CHRIS BILLAM-SMITH hopes that a rematch against Richard Riakporhe takes place at the same venue where he suffered his only defeat to date.

On July 20, 2019, Riakporhe got the nod over 10 rounds on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s win over Oscar Rivas at the O2 Arena in London.

Billam-Smith and Riakporhe, both promoted by Boxxer, are closing in on a return bout five years later which would see the former defending his WBO world cruiserweight title against his now mandatory challenger.

The 33-year-old champion won the belt in an ugly encounter against friend and former gym-mate Lawerence Okolie last May. While the fight was one to forget the night was a memorable one for Billam-Smith who won in front of his home fans outdoors at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium. “The Gentleman” returned to the ring in December defeating Mateusz Masternak in a hard-fought contest which ended when the Pole retired in the eighth round due to a rib injury.

Riakporhe, meanwhile, is yet to taste defeat in 17 fights and has looked dominant in his last five wins where each opponent has been stopped or knocked out.

Riakporhe is the only person to have beaten Billam-Smith. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Boxing News caught up with Billam-Smith last night at the O2 Arena after a crowd of over 10,000 watched a British heavyweight title classic between Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke.

“We’re just waiting for a venue I believe,” he said of the Riakporhe rematch.

“I want to do it here [the O2 Arena]. This is the place of the first fight. It makes sense, the history is there. We can’t do AFC Bournemouth, which is a shame. The time of year, they can’t do the pitch. But let’s do it back here. What a venue it is for a big event. It’ll be another big event like it was tonight. I just want to get it signed, delivered, announced. I’m in training anyway. I’m excited for that fight.”

Earlier that evening, Billam-Smith’s gym-mate Adam Azim faced off against Harlem Eubank ahead of their proposed super-lightweight clash. While there was no official announcement Azim’s trainer Shane McGuigan confirmed to BN that the fight had been signed and will take place.