FOR the second fight running London cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe has solved a potential southpaw headache by folding an opponent in half to finish a fight just when it had started heating up.

The last time this happened it was fellow Londoner Deion Jumah on the receiving end of a Riakporhe body shot, while tonight (June 11) at Wembley it was Italy’s Fabio Turchi succumbing to a left hand ripped into his midriff in round two.

By that point in their IBF cruiserweight eliminator, it was hard to predict how events were going to unfold. Turchi, a decorated amateur whose only loss as a pro before tonight was a split-decision against Tommy McCarthy in 2019, started well enough, pushing Riakporhe back with relative ease, and landing the best shot of the first round – a right hook – to perhaps even steal it on the scorecards. However, any inroads he may have made during that first round were ultimately academic when Riakporhe spotted an opening in round two and ripped a body shot to Turchi’s liver, thus crumpling the Italian on impact. “I think I’m the new ‘Body Snatcher’,” Riakporhe said in the ring after the fight. “Call me the ‘Body Snatcher’.”

Although, admittedly, he has a way to go to emulate the original ‘Body Snatcher’, the former three-weight world champion otherwise known as Mike McCallum, should Riakporhe keep snatching bodies at his current rate there’s every chance he could surpass the last man to steal McCallum’s nickname, one Dillian Whyte.

Last time out in March, a Riakporhe right hand did for Jumah, removing his rival in the seventh round of an intriguing fight, whereas against Turchi this evening it was the left, which was thrown to the former European champion’s liver as he roamed forward oblivious to the power Riakporhe possesses in both hands.

Tellingly, although Turchi, 20-2 (14), bravely got to his feet and beat the count, he was immediately rescued by his cornerman, who charged the ring waving the towel. A wise, compassionate move, the coach, knowing his man better than anyone, could see in Turchi’s eyes that the fight had been knocked out of him and, furthermore, will have been only too aware that the fighter from Florence had never before been hurt or beaten in such a manner.

Tonight’s win moves Riakporhe’s record to 15-0 (11) and adds further credence to the belief that he is one of the biggest one-shot punchers in British boxing right now. For, unlike others, Riakporhe doesn’t just move opponents when he connects, he dissolves them. Scarier still, as already shown twice now this year, the 32-year-old can turn difficult situations into resolved situations with the swing of an arm and the briefest of touches.