After a fantastic card in London on 11th June, we are very much looking forward to our first ‘Breakthrough’ event in Coventry this Saturday.
I want to focus on a few different fighters from both cards, for this week’s column…
We knew he was good, I just don’t think we realised he was that good…
To get rid of someone like Fabio Turchi inside 2 rounds shows that Richard Riakporhe really is the real deal. Turchi is proven at European title level and Richard dismantled him as though he had no right to be sharing the ring with him. No one has been able to do anything like that to Turchi before.
Fighting four times in nine months has seen Richard go through the gears impressively since signing with us. I am determined to deliver him a world title shot. We all think he is more than ready. He is looking far more patient and efficient through his shot selection and improved timing.
He is a very young 32….He hasn’t taken much punishment at all. He has now been tested at a very high level and looked more polished and destructive with each test. I firmly believe in Richard’s world title credentials and we could see him in with the likes of Makabu or Briedis next.
How good does a big British unification between Richard Riakporhe andv Lawrence Okolie sound? In twelve to eighteen months’ time, that could be huge. Richard’s love for Crystal Palace is well- documented and the challenge of delivering that fight for him at Selhurst Park is one I relish.
When you think back to his wars with Anthony Joshua, Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chsisora, there have been few fighters involved in more huge events on British soil than Joseph Parker. He is no stranger to headlining big shows on Sky Sports… but now he gets to do it as the ‘home’ fighter.
Joe is only 30 - he has time on his side and his career to date is testament to his ability to compete at elite level for many years to come. We are delighted to be alongside Joe as he embarks on a new chapter in his career with the full backing and machinery of Sky Sports behind him.
Lauren Price / Karriss Artingstall
What a debut for Lauren. It is clear that perhaps our biggest challenge with Lauren is going to be properly testing her along the way of her quest to be a multi- weight world champion. Her footwork was sensational - I went over to the Sstates to see Lomachenko last November and the way Lauren glided around the ring, in and out of range… it had real shades of Vasiliy.
I’m really excited to see Lauren’s partner Karriss make her professional debut in Coventry this Saturday. Just like Lauren, Karriss was a fantastic amateur and I think she is made for the pro game. She punches hard for a featherweight and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her boast an impressive knockout ratio once she turns over.
There’s always a lot of nerves and pressure involved on your debut. But hopefully having been close to Lauren as she went through the same process will have given Karriss a great insight into what is required.
Adam Azim / Dylan Cheema
It’s a big night on Saturday for two of our hottest prospects, both campaigning in the lightweight division.
Adam Azim will be competing for his first belt and I can’t wait to see him take to the big stage. He has been electric thus far and it is clear that he has everything it takes to go all the way.
Dylan Cheema has come from nowhere but has made a huge impact already. The British- Sikh community has massively backed him, which is fantastic to see. He’s sold 700 tickets for Saturday, which is quite remarkable for someone who was fighting in hotel conference rooms only a few months ago.
Dylan is a real success story of the BOXXER Series, which absolutely has transformed his life.
Could we see Adam and Dylan get to share the ring further down the line? What a fight that would be. India v Pakistan is always a fantastic occasion when they face each other at cricket and to see that unfold in the squared circle would be something special. They are both in similar positions in the rankings and one day I do hope we see their paths cross.