Richard Riakporhe – Walworth, London – 10-0, 8 KO’s – fighting Jack Massey for the vacant British Cruiserweight title:
“I’m feeling good. I’m happy with the opportunities that I’ve received this year, stepping up to the plate. I fought Tommy McCarthy back in March, got the win, I fought Chris Billam-Smith not too long ago and got the win as well. What would end the year perfectly for me would be getting the win over Jack Massey with the British title as well. What more could I want?
“There’s a lot of big fights out there for me in 2020 but we’re not going to overlook Jack Massey. We’ve prepared for him like he’s a true veteran and we’re ready to take the win and get on with it. I don’t see the fight going longer than six rounds. I don’t see it going past six rounds but I’ve trained for fifteen rounds.
“We’re ready for whatever. If Jack wants to box I can box, if he wants to fight I can fight. I believe that I can beat him in every single department. If he wants to have a cookout and see who’s the best chef, then I’ll beat him in a Sunday roast cookout. If I lose in that, I’ll put him in the oven.
“I’m looking forward to it. I respect Jack Massey as a fighter, I respect him for taking the fight. I’m just ready to showcase my skills.”
Jack Massey – Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire – 10-0, 8 KO’s – fighting Richard Riakporhe for the vacant British Cruiserweight title:
“We had a long camp for the Okolie fight. We trained for 12 rounds so it’s put me in good stead for this. The recovery time for the injury wasn’t long so I was back punching six weeks after the injury so it’s time to go.
“It’s a massive year after this. I don’t see it going more than six rounds either. He’s confident, get ready for a boxing match.”
Craig Richards – Crystal Palace, London – 15-1, 8 KO’s – fighting Chad Sugden in an 8 round Light-Heavyweight contest:
“Good afternoon everyone. I’m just looking forward to getting out on Thursday night. It’s been a while since I’ve been back out. I’m just focused on this Thursday. I think a few months ago Chad tagged me in a post calling me out. I know that he’s going to come and bring it, he’s willing for the big opportunity and I’m not going to take him lightly.
“I’m looking forward to going out on Thursday night and making a statement and then going on after that and god willing cleaning up the rest of the division. I’m just focused on Thursday night. What I’m focused on next year is the titles. I want to go out and get that British title after Thursday and have a big year. It’s about ticking them all off. I’m looking forward to going out there and putting on a performance.”
Chad Sugden – Newark, Nottinghamshire – 11-1, 4 KO’s – fighting Craig Richards in an 8 round Light-Heavyweight contest:
“For sure, I wouldn’t be here for any other reason. I believe I can beat Craig, I’ve got all of the tools to beat him. I’ve just got to put it all into place on Thursday night. He’s number 4 in the UK on BoxRec and he’s got a world ranking with the WBA. It’s a massive fight for me but it’s a fight that I took for one reason only and that’s to come and win.”
Luther Clay – Bracknell, Berkshire – 12-1, 5 KO’s – defending his WBO Global Welterweight title against Freddy Kiwitt:
“I’m feeling good and ready to go. I’m ready to fight, I’m ready to defend my title. The guy I won my title off didn’t want to fight Freddy. He said ‘I’ll fight Luther it’s an easier fight’, then he got touched up and now I’m coming for Freddy. I ain’t looking past Freddy, Freddy is a very good fighter. His fight where he won the European title was against Paddy Gallagher who’s a very good fighter. I can’t afford to look past him but I am going to go through him.”
Freddy Kiwitt – London – 17-2, 10 KO’s – challenging Luther Clay for the WBO Global Welterweight title:
“No I don’t think it’s too early, I think it has come at exactly the right time. It’s god’s timing. I had a great year and this my fourth fight in the third country, and my third title fight as well. I’m really looking forward to this fight.
“I won the WBO European belt at the beginning of the year so this will just add another one to the collection and I just need to win this fight. This is my purpose. He’s just on the way to where I want to be. This is my time now.”
Kieron Conway – Northampton, Northamptonshire – fighting Craig O’Brien in an 10 round Super-Welterweight contest:
“I’m excited to be back at York Hall and feel really good coming into this one. I am not overlooking Craig O’Brien but I want to get the job done and take one step closer to that British title.”
Shannon Courtenay – Watford, Hertfordshire – 4-0, 1 KO – fighting Buchra El Quaissi in a 6 round Super-Bantamweight contest:
“It has been a perfect first year as a professional, four wins. My last fight was definitely a learning curve, she came out flying but we got the job done. I got my first stoppage at York Hall so I’m hoping to return there and getting another win.
“Next year will be a massive year, I am looking forward to it but firstly I am just totally focused on this fight.”
Donte Dixon – Sheffield, Yorkshire – 1-0 – fighting Vladislavs Davidaits in a 4 round Super-Featherweight contest:
“This is my second fight and I am looking forward to it, I’m looking forward to putting on a very good performance. Billy Joe Saunders is a big name who has a lot of connections so I’ll be up there soon.”
Franklin Ignatius – Dagenham, London – making his professional debut in a 4 round Heavyweight contest against Michal Banbula:
“I’m definitely excited and I’m ready. I am enjoying the occasion, my amateur experience has helped but the most important thing for me is continuing to learn. It’s been a lightning period but I’m enjoying it but I’m ready to show what I’ve got!”
Malik Kareem – Finchley – making his professional debut in a 4 round Super-Middleweight contest against Ben Thomas:
“It’s been a long camp, I’ve had good sparring and I am just ready to go now. From day one when I started boxing at Finchley, Anthony Joshua has been there for whatever I needed and as a role model. Him getting the straps back has helped me be in a good mood ahead of my pro debut.”
Unbeaten Cruiserweights collide on December 19 JD NXTGEN show
Richard Riakporhe and Jack Massey will clash for the vacant British Cruiserweight title at the top of a JD NXTGEN show at the famous York Hall in East London on Thursday December 19, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Big-hitting Riakporhe (10-0, 8 KOs) went the distance for only the second time of his career in July as he outpointed undefeated and highly-rated Bournemouth prospect Chris Billam-Smith in a close battle at The O2 in London to retain his WBA Inter-Continental title.
Massey (16-0, 8 KOs) is firing on all cylinders again after an arm injury ruled him out of his July British and Commonwealth title clash with Lawrence Okolie, and ‘One Smack’ says he is ready to propel his name to the top of the domestic Cruiserweight scene in his first major title shot.
“I’m over the moon to be fighting for the British title at the top of a bill at York Hall,” said Riakporhe. “I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for a long time and now it’s here I need to grab it with both hands.
“Jack is a decent opponent. I heard that he beat Chris Billam-Smith in the amateurs so he should have a good pedigree. He’s unbeaten in the professional ranks with a strong record so this should be a decent test for me.
“I think Jack will come to fight and he’ll go for it, but I’ll be too strong for him and I’ll have too much will and determination – I’m going to light him up like a Christmas tree. A win here could lead to even bigger opportunities and I know what I have to do.”
“I’m in the best shape of my life and I feel great,” said Massey. “I’ve had a few setbacks recently, but they’ve made me even hungrier for this opportunity. I’ve got to come away with that British title on the night and I’ll give my all for it.
“This has got the makings of a great fight, we’re both big punchers and we both know how to finish a fight. This will be my first time fighting at York Hall so it’s even more special for me. It’s a prestigious place to fight and a prestigious belt to win so there’s a lot on the line – a win would be massive for me.”
Elsewhere on the card fast-rising Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (8-0, 7 KOs) continues his march towards a first title shot as he takes on Middlesbrough’s Simon Vallily (16-2-1, 7 KOs), Bracknell Welterweight Luther Clay (12-1, 5 KOs) defends his WBO Global Welterweight title against Freddy Kiwitt (17-2, 10 KOs) and Northampton Super-Welterweight Kieron Conway (13-1-1, 3 KOs) continues to work towards another shot at the British title.
Watford Bantamweight Shannon Courtenay (4-0, 1 KO) keeps active with her fifth outing of the year, Crowthorne Super-Featherweight Charles Frankham (2-0, 1 KO) returns, Leeds Super-Bantamweight Hopey Price (1-0) looks to build on his successful pro debut in Manchester and Billy Joe Saunders-managed Lightweight Donte Dixon looks to move 2-0.
“I’m delighted to be returning to the famous York Hall on December 19 for a Christmas cracker of a JD NXTGEN show topped by the British Cruiserweight title showdown between undefeated prospects Richard Riakporhe and Jack Massey,” said Eddie Hearn. “Riakporhe is quickly establishing himself as one of the most feared Cruiserweights on the domestic scene and secured an impressive breakout win over Chris Billam-Smith last time out. Massey has been waiting for an opportunity like this for a while and finally lands his big chance after the disappointment of his summer injury. Some of the best up-and-coming talents in the country will be looking to impress on the undercard with all of the action shown live on Sky Sports and DAZN.”
“We’re bringing you a pre-Christmas cracker as Richard Riakporhe battles Jack Massey for the British title on another exciting JD NXTGEN bill,” said Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing. “Riakporhe has emerged as an explosive contender – and next comes up against the well-schooled Massey in a high quality encounter for that coveted Lonsdale belt. Shannon Courtenay, Fabio Wardley, Charles Frankham are also back in action at York Hall as we extend our powerful schedule in 2019.”
RIAKPORHE VS. MASSEY WEIGHTS AND RUNNING ORDER
17:15 FIRST BELL
4 x 3 mins Super-Bantamweight
IBRAHIM NADIM 8st 10lbs 15oz v MISAEL ZELEDON 9st 2lbs 2oz
4 x 3 mins Heavyweight
FRANKLIN IGNATIUS 16st 1lbs 3oz v HRVOJE BOZINOVIC 15st 2lbs 12oz
18:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK
4 x 3 mins Super-Middleweight contest
MALIK KAREEM 12st 2lbs 3oz v BEN THOMAS 12st 1lb 13oz
6 x 2 mins Bantamweight contest
SHANNON COURTENAY 8st 11lbs 8oz v BUCHRA EL QUAISSI 8st 7lbs 4oz
19:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
10 x 3 mins WBO Global Welterweight Title
LUTHER CLAY 10st 6lbs 10oz v FREDDY KIWITT 10st 6lbs 13oz
10 x 3 mins Super-Welterweight contest
KIERON CONWAY 11st 2lbs v CRAIG O’BRIEN 11st 4oz
8 x 3 mins Light-Heavyweight contest
CRAIG RICHARDS 12st 6lbs 2oz v CHAD SUGDEN 12st 6lbs 9oz
(Crystal Palace) (Newark)
12 x 3 mins vacant British Cruiserweight Title
RICHARD RIAKPORHE 14st 2lbs 13oz v JACK MASSEY 14st 1lbs 12oz
4 x 3 mins Super-Featherweight contest
DONTE DIXON 9st 4lbs 12oz v VLADISLAVS DAVIDAITIS 9st 5lbs 14oz
Tickets priced £40, £70 and £130 go on sale at midday tomorrow (Wednesday November 13) via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com).