Billam-Smith vs Riakporhe LIVE! Boxing result, fight stream, latest updates and reaction

Billam-Smith vs Riakporhe LIVE! Boxing result, fight stream, latest updates and reaction

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe LIVE!

Chris Billam-Smith remains the WBO cruiserweight champion of the world after dominating Richard Riakporhe in Saturday night’s much-anticipated all-British main event at Selhurst Park. ‘The Gentleman’ was in inspired form to produce arguably the best performance of his career to date on enemy territory at the home of Premier League football club Crystal Palace, claiming a fully deserved unanimous decision victory to successfully defend the belt he took from Lawrence Okolie in unforgettable fashion for the second time.

As well as keeping hold of his title and setting up a potential lucrative unification fight in America in the future, Billam-Smith was also delighted to avenge the only loss of his professional career to date, having been narrowly outpointed by the hard-hitting Riakporhe when the two rivals first met five years ago on the Dillian Whyte-Oscar Rivas undercard at the O2 Arena.

On Saturday night’s Boxxer bill, Ben Whittaker eased to victory over Ezra Arenyeka to pick up the IBF international light-heavyweight belt and Jack Massey outpointed Isaac Chamberlain in a thriller to collect the vacant European and Commonwealth cruiserweight titles. Dan Azeez could only just draw with Hrvoje Sep in a shock result, but rising star Francesca Hennessy was victorious again following early wins for Lewie Pochetty, Deevorn Miller and Mitchell Frearson. Follow all tonight’s boxing action live below!

Billam-Smith vs Riakporhe results

  • Chris Billam-Smith dominates Richard Riakporhe to retain title

  • Ben Whittaker toys with Ezra Arenyeka in wide points win

  • Jack Massey outlasts Isaac Chamberlain in thriller

  • Dan Azeez lucky to just scrape Hrvoje Sep draw

  • Francesca Hennessy outpoints Dorota Norek

Chris Billam-Smith vs Zurdo Ramirez next?

00:33 , George Flood

Billam-Smith was obviously delighted after that, trainer Shane McGuigan believing it will likely be looked back upon as arguably the best performance of his career.

Both of them are rightly baffled by those scorecards, though.

What next then for CBS? Unsurprisingly, he has his sights set on fighting in the USA and Las Vegas.

Could a huge unification battle with new WBA champion Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez be looming?

A showdown with IBF champion Jai Opetaia is another intriguing possibility...

 (Steven Paston/PA Wire)
(Steven Paston/PA Wire)

And still! Chris Billam-Smith retains WBO world cruiserweight title

00:30 , George Flood

116-111, 115-112 x2 - AND STILL!

Chris Billam-Smith successfully defends his WBO world cruiserweight title for the second time by unanimous decision and avenges that one and only career loss in the process.

Another fantastic night to remember for ‘The Gentleman’.

115-112 is way too close, by the way. Doesn’t reflect his dominance throughout at all.

 (Steven Paston/PA Wire)
(Steven Paston/PA Wire)

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

23:29 , George Flood

Never any danger of a late knockout there from Riakporhe, who will be so, so disappointed with his efforts tonight.

To add insult to injury, he has a point deducted in the final round for use of the head. He had several warnings.

Not that it’ll matter, he must surely have been a country mile behind on the cards.

Billam-Smith with his arms raised in celebration at the final bell, wile Riakporhe looks despondent.

Over to the judges’ scorecards to make sure...

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

23:27 , George Flood

Into the final round we go!Riakporhe is surely well, well behind on the cards here and needs to go for a last-gasp knockout to prevent his world title dreams from slipping away.

CBS three minutes away from retaining his WBO belt again and avenging his only career defeat after five long years.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

23:24 , George Flood

Round 11

More warnings from Steve Gray amid more clinching and use of the head.

Riakporhe lands another nice right hand towards the end of the penultimate round, but it’s just not enough and he can’t build on it or find the combination.

That ramrod jab has long since deserted him as well.

It’s just been so smart, so wily and so experienced from the champion, who has now allowed Riakporhe to get anything going.

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

23:21 , George Flood

Round 10

Riakporhe has certainly upped his work-rate here, but he can’t really build on his best round of the fight in the ninth.

Billam-Smith expertly drains that new-found momentum with some very clever boxing.

No mincing of words in the Riakporhe corner again.

They leave him in no doubt that he needs a knockout from here to become world champion.

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

23:18 , George Flood

Round 9

But hang on!

Riakporhe always carries that dangerous knockout power and a big right hand lands flush on Billam-Smith midway through the ninth! His gumshield then goes flying.

He tries to follow up on it, but CBS to his credit shook that off remarkably quickly after receiving a heavy barrage on the ropes.

Riakporhe has suddenly found some much-needed confidence and momentum!

Can he build on it with three rounds to go?

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

23:13 , George Flood

Round 8

Billam-Smith is soaring with confidence and looks to hurt Riakporhe early in the eighth, getting him turned around.

It looked like a stiff counter left straight down the pipe that buzzed Riakporhe, who was swinging wildly in response.

Some lovely punches landed by CBS in that round, he absolutely loves that short left hook on the inside.

He’s landed it so frequently so far tonight - much to trainer Shane McGuigan’s delight in the corner.

The engine on Billam-Smith is really something to behold. His work-rate just does not diminish.

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

23:09 , George Flood

Round 7

The rounds are flying by now.

Riakporhe is really struggling here, smothering all his own work.

The confident and composed Billam-Smith is fighting so smartly at the moment, as he always does.

A gumshield goes flying.

Riakporhe’s corner read him the riot act before the start of the eighth, telling him that his world title chance is slipping away and asking if he wants to wake up.

CBS well on top.

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

23:06 , George Flood

Into the second half of this fight we go.

It’s gruelling, highly-watchable stuff, but not the thriller we were expecting so far...

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

23:05 , George Flood

Round 6

Billam-Smith is stepping it up now, clearly winning these close-range exchanges.

He is maintaining that high work-rate and landing the better, cleaner shots. His jab is looking much better now too.

Riakporhe is still finding success with the odd single shot, but he can’t put any meaningful attacks or combinations together.

I think there’s an argument that Riakporhe took the first round but has lost every one since then.

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

23:01 , George Flood

Round 5

It’s gruelling stuff at the moment and still not much at all to choose between these two.

Both are having their own pockets of success at different times and invariably a good shot from one on the inside is promptly followed by an equally sharp return.

But in general I think Billam-Smith’s higher work-rate will be currying favour with the judges.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

22:55 , George Flood

Round 4

Both men land some good shots as they stand and trade at close range early in the fourth.

Billam-Smith with blood around the nose in a nod to Riakporhe’s impressive power.

Great action now as they continue to land heavy blows on each other at close range, producing energy-sapping shots to the body.

A couple of nice right hands go in from Riakporhe, who has such power on his jab.

Blood smeared around the nose and mouth of CBS as both men exchange more heavy punches before the bell at the end of the fourth.

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

22:50 , George Flood

Round 3

Referee Steve Gray is involved plenty early on here, breaking things up and also offering Riakporhe a couple more warnings for use of the head and punching slightly low.

Billam-Smith with some success on the inside as he also then fires off a spiteful right to the body.

More messy clinching now against the ropes, CBS ducking out of a swinging right hand from Riakporhe.

2-1 Billam-Smith now?

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

22:47 , George Flood

Round 2

Billam-Smith is going to the body in an attempt to slow Riakporhe, who is still flicking out that strong jab and trying to tee up his massive right hand.

Plenty of ugly clinching then ensues in the second, with the referee issuing a ticking off to both men.

Riakporhe trying to drive to the body too.

A better round for Billam-Smith for sure, but a very close one nonetheless and difficult to score.

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

22:43 , George Flood

Round 1

Riakporhe jabbing like a dream early on, using those long arms to thud in those wincing drives from distance, jolting back the head of the champion.

‘The Midnight Train’ is the busier fighter in the first, continually working behind that ramrod jab.

CBS not without his moments in that opener, but you’ve surely got to give it to Riakporhe.

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

22:39 , George Flood

Seconds out - round one!

A massive rematch five years in the making is finally upon us.

Here. We. Go!

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

22:38 , George Flood

An intense ring walk from the champion Billam-Smith, who looks dialled in and absolutely laser-focused as he stomps his way to the middle.

He’s so used to being the beloved home favourite in Bournemouth on nights like this, so how will he react to being on enemy territory?

National anthem done, it’s time for the final introductions from Kody 'Big Mo' Mommaerts.

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe

22:30 , George Flood

Crystal Palace fan Riakporhe is decked out in Eagles colours as he makes a dream ring walk at Selhurst Park.

He looks pretty calm and composed, drinking this all in on the biggest night of his career so far.

A brilliant atmosphere now inside this 100-year-old ground.

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe coming up

22:21 , George Flood

Just the main event to come now at Selhurst Park!

A huge all-British rematch some five years in the making between WBO world cruiserweight champion Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe is on the way NEXT.

You really won’t want to miss this, trust me.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Ben Whittaker dominates Ezra Arenyeka in wide points win

22:16 , George Flood

100-89, 99-90 x2.

Whittaker stays unbeaten as a pro, moves to 8-0 and picks up the IBF International light-heavyweight title.

10 rounds in the bag, but not sure how much he will learn from that.

Ben Whittaker vs Ezra Arenyeka

22:14 , George Flood

Whittaker finally turns it up in the 10th and final round, unleashing a couple of furious one-twos straight down the pipe.

One of those sharp right hands buckles the legs and busts the nose of Arenyeka, who dips but does well to stay on his feet.

He’s then pursued across the ring by Whittaker, but he’s left it too late to produce an explosive last-gasp stoppage as the final bell sounds.

Let’s see just how wide these cards prove to be...

Ben Whittaker vs Ezra Arenyeka

22:12 , George Flood

Another totally dominant round from Whittaker without really going for it, just like all the rest.

Arenyeka is still trying to come forward and land, but he mostly can’t get absolutely anywhere close to getting hold of Whittaker, who continues to perform his best Neo impression while peppering the Nigerian with a range of accurate shots that don’t carry too much power.

As mentioned, the gulf in class is absolutely massive and too much for a co-main event on a big stadium card like this, in my opinion.

Whittaker is already a big draw of course so early in his professional career, but you surely need something more competitive at this stage of a bill like this, regardless of how good the main event might be.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Ben Whittaker vs Ezra Arenyeka

22:05 , George Flood

Into the penultimate ninth round we go!

Will Whittaker go in search of a late stoppage, or does he want the rounds in the bank?

Arenyeka isn’t really laying a glove on him now.

Ben Whittaker vs Ezra Arenyeka

22:03 , George Flood

Arenyeka’s frustrations show again in the seventh as he has a point rightly deducted for throwing an elbow at Whittaker.

Whittaker has taken every round here, with his remarkably fast hands, super variety and Matrix-like agility on full display once more.

But he’s shown no signs of pushing to get the vastly overmatched Arenyeka out of there so far, with only three rounds left to go.A rather subdued crowd would no doubt love to see him step up the tempo to produce a big finish.

As good as it is on a technical level from Whittaker, it can get a little flat at times.

Ben Whittaker vs Ezra Arenyeka

21:57 , George Flood

This is a typical performance from Whittaker at the moment, no shortage of fun, skills and showboating, but you expect him to step up a level now.

He has the audacity to even walk Arenyeka back to his corner at the end of the sixth round, with the Nigerian responding with a headbutt!

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Ben Whittaker vs Ezra Arenyeka

21:48 , George Flood

Arenyeka is having the odd moment here, but make no mistake - Whittaker is in complete and utter control through four and has every round so far firmly in the bag.

Expect him to go up through the gears now and really make his dominance count.

Ben Whittaker vs Ezra Arenyeka

21:42 , George Flood

Round 2

Let’s be honest - bar him getting too confident one day and maybe walking onto a big shot, Whittaker is simply never, ever going to lose to opponents of this level.

He so stylish, so talented and so smooth, gliding in and out of range, flicking out that lovely jab and picking his punches with accuracy and great variety.

Arenyeka is faring better so far than a lot of opponents do against the vastly more talented Whittaker, but the gulf in class is just enormous all the same.

More showboating from Whittaker, of course!

Ben Whittaker vs Ezra Arenyeka

21:36 , George Flood

Round 1

A fast start from Whittaker as always, peppering his opponent with those lightning-fast jabs and looking to work the early combos.

No shortage of showboating and shimmying as always from ‘The Surgeon’, with Arenyeka responding in kind - much to the delight of the Selhurst Park crowd.

These are certainly two characters in the ring!

Ben Whittaker vs Ezra Arenyeka

21:34 , George Flood

An elaborate ring walk as always from showboater Whittaker, including a string orchestra.

Here we go!

Arenyeka ‘The Nigerian King’ is also unbeaten at 12-0, beating Philibert Sodjinou and Victor Barrios last year.

Whittaker - wearing bright pink gloves - has fought twice already this year, stopping Khalid Graidia on the Buatsi-Azeez undercard at Wembley Arena in February before outpointing Leon Willings on the undercard of Frazer Clarke vs Fabio Wardley at the O2 Arena in March.

Ben Whittaker vs Ezra Arenyeka

21:28 , George Flood

Like Massey and Chamberlain, there has been a lot of bad blood between these two this week, which should make for an intriguing fight.

Showman Whittaker is normally so calm and composed, but yesterday he was angered to the point of grabbing Arenyeka by the throat as security had to separate the pair during a very feisty weigh-in at BOXPARK Croydon.

Arenyeka then threw a bra at him, for some reason...

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Ben Whittaker vs Ezra Arenyeka

21:24 , George Flood

It’s already time for the co-main event of the night at Selhurst Park! Feel like this card has absolutely flown by so far.

It’s the next step on the exciting professional journey of Tokyo 2020 silver medalist Ben ‘The Surgeon’ Whittaker, who looks to move to 8-0 against Ezra Arenyeka.

The vacant IBF international light-heavyweight title is on the line in this one.

Jack Massey beats Isaac Chamberlain by unanimous decision

21:12 , George Flood

115-113 x2 and 116-112 - all in favour of Jack ‘One Smack’ Massey!

He’s the new European and Commonwealth cruiserweight champion.

Fully deserved - what a win!

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

21:11 , George Flood

A brilliant end to a brilliant, brilliant fight. Credit to both men.

I think Massey has done it, but there were enough close rounds there that it could well go either way.

To the judges’ scorecards we go...

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

21:06 , George Flood

You’ve got to credit Massey’s response to that huge eighth round from Chamberlain.

After another close round, I think he’s just ahead heading into the all-important final round.

Can he seal the deal to claim those vacant European and Commonwealth belts?

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

21:03 , George Flood

Both men are looking really tired now with 10 rounds gone in this gruelling war.

The 10th is another that really could go either way, with more hard shots traded at close range.

I still think that Massey generally does the better work and lands the more eye-catching punches when they stand and trade like that.

The last two rounds will be absolutely fascinating with this contest likely still in the balance...

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

20:58 , George Flood

Massey tries to up the tempo at the start of the ninth in response to that strong eighth from Chamberlain.

Isaac is on the front foot again, but missing some of the sheer intensity of the last round.

Massey recovers well, firing the straight shots and getting a bit of energy back.

He needed to respond there and did, despite Chamberlain upping the pace again before the bell.

Isaac may feel he rather let him off the hook there.

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

20:52 , George Flood

A huge round at a crucial, crucial time for Chamberlain!

He seems to get a second wind from somewhere after a gruelling seventh, going to work behind the double left hook combination and making his power clearly felt.

Left hook to body followed by another sharp left hook upstairs. Brilliant boxing.

He senses that Massey is tired and hurt, pushing him against the ropes as he lets his hands go.

Massey’s face is looking really marked up and he’s suddenly looking exhausted.

Can Isaac now press home this advantage in a close, close fight...

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

20:49 , George Flood

Good periods from both men again in a furious seventh round, with plenty of spiteful, hard punches landing clean on the target.

I had Massey shading it again, until Chamberlain uncorks a huge right hand just before the bell that detonates right on the money.

Fascinated to know how the judges are scoring this. You can’t take your eyes off it for a second.

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

20:44 , George Flood

Six rounds down in this captivating contest for the vacant European and Commonwealth cruiserweight titles.

Two more very close rounds, with both men feeling the pace in the sixth before Massey clubs in a big overhand right before the bell.

He’s landing the cleaner and crisper shots still for me, including some lovely counters that find the mark.

 (Steven Paston/PA Wire)
(Steven Paston/PA Wire)

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

20:37 , George Flood

Momentum continues to swing sharply back and forth during the first half of this fight, which is just about as absorbing as we’d hoped so far.

Just as one man gets on top and begins to showcase great work and go through the gears, the other comes firing back with menace.

Both men are having decent spells and it’s a tough bout to score through four.

I think it’s dead level at 2-2 so far.

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

20:32 , George Flood

Massey starts the third in positive fashion again, brimming with confidence as he again takes the fight to the inside and punches with incision and accuracy.

But here comes Chamberlain roaring back, finding his groove and stepping on the gas, letting his hands go and the shots fly in a stinging flurry.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

20:27 , George Flood

A captivating first couple of rounds at Selhurst Park.

Chamberlain fighting well at range, but he’s largely coming off second best during the exchanges up close.

Massey starts well and then finishes the second strongly to probably shade it.

Chamberlain has some work to do...

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

20:20 , George Flood

Here we go!

This has got Fight of the Night contender written all over it...

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

20:16 , George Flood

Really looking forward to this next fight, which could be the highlight of the night.

Isaac Chamberlain and Jack Massey go head to head for the vacant European and Commonwealth cruiserweight titles.

So much bad blood between these two in the build-up, which culminated in them coming to blows at yesterday’s weigh-in.

This could be truly explosive.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Dan Azeez claims fortunate draw against Hrvoje Sep

20:08 , George Flood

Referee Bob Williams rules it a draw, which is still a huge shock in itself given that this was supposed to be a gentler fight for Azeez to get back on the winning trail after his first loss to Buatsi.

I personally think he can count himself very lucky to have got that. A really poor performance.

Sep may well feel aggrieved. He would never have expected to win that.

Dan Azeez vs Hrvoje Sep

20:04 , George Flood

An absorbing final round sees both men go at it in a bid to make the decisive last effort.

Better from Azeez again, but I think Sep landed the better shots again there.

He may well have won this you know...

Dan Azeez vs Hrvoje Sep

20:01 , George Flood

Azeez produces comfortably his best round of the fight so far in the penultimate seventh... and boy was that timely.

He steps up the tempo and lets his hands go with far more frequency, working the jab and landing far more cleaner and crisper punches.

He needs another round like that to finish, as Buddy McGirt is quick to remind him in the corner.

 (Steven Paston/PA Wire)
(Steven Paston/PA Wire)

Dan Azeez vs Hrvoje Sep

19:56 , George Flood

This continues to be really poor and sluggish from Azeez, who looks so out of sorts tonight.

How much did that first defeat at the hands of Joshua Buatsi take from him?

Buddy McGirt remains furious and keeps imploring him to let his hands go.

McGirt tells Azeez to make sure he wins these last two rounds on points, not searching for the knockout.

He clearly knows that his charge may be in real danger of losing this fight...

Dan Azeez vs Hrvoje Sep

19:52 , George Flood

Trainer Buddy McGirt is reading the riot act to Azeez in the corner at the end of a fifth round in which he tried to up the tempo but still couldn’t get any decent combinations off.

He’s chastised for allowing Sep to nick these close rounds, suggesting that his man is behind.

Does Azeez need all three of these final rounds to avoid what would be a hugely costly second successive loss?

Dan Azeez vs Hrvoje Sep

19:50 , George Flood

Really not impressed at all with this from Azeez through four.

Perhaps I’m being overly harsh, but I’ve got Sep narrowly ahead heading into the second half of this eight-round contest.

Azeez is too flat-footed and not moving his head nearly enough.

He’s too much of an easy target and Sep has landed the more eye-catching punches so far.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Dan Azeez vs Hrvoje Sep

19:40 , George Flood

This is a little bit sluggish and rusty from Azeez so far through two rounds.

He was caught with a nice right hand in the first and isn’t exerting nearly enough pressure on Sep just yet.

It’s a bit too comfortable for the Croatian, who wants to fight up close.

Dan Azeez vs Hrvoje Sep

19:33 , George Flood

Lewisham’s ‘Super’ Dan Azeez is in the ring next as he looks to bounce back from his bruising defeat by Joshua Buatsi at Wembley Arena.

Azeez lost his British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight titles that night in February, as well as seeing his unbeaten record fall on the cards.

Now the 34-year-old will look to get straight back on the comeback trail in a scheduled eight-rounder against Hrvoje Sep.

Sep, 38, is a 12-2 Croatian who has lost two of his last three at the hands of Omar Garcia and Ricards Bolotniks.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Francesca Hennessy beats Dorota Norek on points

19:24 , George Flood

Referee Mark Bates scores the contest 77-75 in favour of Francesca Hennessy, who stays unbeaten in the professional ranks and moves to 4-0.

An emotional post-fight interview with the 19-year-old, who pays tribute to her late grandmother.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Francesca Hennessy vs Dorota Norek

19:21 , George Flood

Round 8

A cracking final two minutes, with Norek, knowing she must be behind, going for broke and letting the punches fly in search of a last-gasp knockout.

She doesn’t get it though, with Hennessy successfully negotiating the eighth to surely stay unbeaten and take this on points.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Francesca Hennessy vs Dorota Norek

19:13 , George Flood

So much credit to Norek, who will not lie down here and is trying to take this fight up close and let her hands go in some furious firefights on the inside.

Hennessy staying calm and collected, however...

Francesca Hennessy vs Dorota Norek

19:07 , George Flood

Round 5

Hennessy continues to move up through the levels against a dogged, durable and determined opponent.

Norek has plenty of heart for sure and a great engine and work rate, but is being comprehensively outworked and outthought here.

A stoppage seems unlikely, but Hennessy will be cruising to another points win.

Francesca Hennessy vs Dorota Norek

19:04 , George Flood

This is trademark stuff from the incisive Hennessy through four.

She is utilising the combinations and thudding in some heavy shots, hand and foot speed working in unison very nicely.

She’s got great variety, movement, accuracy and anticipation.

A different level to Norek, who to her credit is still coming forward and trying to break Hennessy’s momentum by landing some big punches of her own.

Francesca Hennessy vs Dorota Norek

18:56 , George Flood

Round 2

An initial improvement in the second from Norek as she looks to go toe to toe and trade with Hennessy, trying to prove that she is not just here to make up the numbers.

But Hennessy moves through the gears, piecing the combinations together well and attacking with venom to the body. Her left hook is a nice weapon.

This contest is scheduled for eight rounds, by the way.

Francesca Hennessy vs Dorota Norek

18:55 , George Flood

Round 1

A typically smooth and stylish start from Hennessy, who shows flashes of her class to make Norek think before a scrappy end to the first.

Francesca Hennessy vs Dorota Norek

18:53 , George Flood

Off we go then with the main undercard at Selhurst Park, only after Hennessy’s trainer Bradley Skeete asks a question over the belt line on Norek.

Promoter-turned-manager Mick Hennessy at ringside to watch is daughter in action...

Francesca Hennessy vs Dorota Norek

18:51 , George Flood

The rain has returned with a vengeance as the ultra-confident Fran Hennessy makes her ring walk at Selhurst Park, after a spot of dancing to Soulja Boy.

The exciting and talented Hennessy, 19, has already moved to 3-0 as a pro, stopping Sonia Klos on debut before points wins over Lucrecia Belen Arrieta and Laura Valdebenito, the latter in February on the Joshua Buatsi-Dan Azeez undercard at Wembley Arena.

Poland’s Dorota Norek is 7-4 as a pro, 16 years older than her opponent at 35. She has lost three of her last four bouts.

18:36 , George Flood

Yesterday’s weigh-ins at BOXPARK Croydon were certainly interesting and feisty, with neither Chris Billam-Smith nor Richard Riakporhe willing to back down as they engaged in a lengthy and intense final face-off ahead of tonight’s main event.

The bad blood between Isaac Chamberlain and Jack Massey also continued as they came to literal blows before they compete for the vacant European and Commonwealth cruiserweight titles.

The usually composed Ben Whittaker also grabbed Ezra Arenyeka by the throat as security intervened before the latter strangely hurled a bra in his opponent’s direction.

18:23 , George Flood

The brief preliminary period of tonight’s undercard has now wrapped up at Selhurst Park, where thankfully the rain has long since stopped and the sun emerged from between the clouds.

The main portion of the undercard will be underway soon, with unbeaten rising star Francesca Hennessy looking to improve her professional record to 4-0 as she meets Poland’s Dorota Norek.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

18:17 , George Flood

And a totally bizarre ending to that all-too-brief showdown between Deevorn Miller and Edwin Mosquera that had the potential to be a properly explosive war...

Deevorn Miller vs Edwin Mosquera

18:16 , George Flood

An utterly bizarre end to another extremely brief contest.

Miller is left holding on against the ropes under a heavy barrage of monster left hands from Mosquera, who is then caught on the back of the head by a swinging right from his opponent and says he is not able to continue.

The fight is duly waved off and Miller gets the first-round TKO to move to 7-1.

So strange.

18:08 , George Flood

Here’s that crushing left hook that saw budding British heavyweight Lewie Pochetty move to 2-0 against Tobie Vermeire in the first fight of the evening at Selhurst Park...

Deevorn Miller vs Edwin Mosquera

18:00 , George Flood

No breaks here as we go straight into the third and final fight on the early undercard at Selhurst Park.

It’s another four-rounder, in the cruiserweight division as Londoner Deevorn Miller faces Colombian Edwin Mosquera.

Mitchell Frearson beats Marco Simmonds on points

17:54 , George Flood

A decent scrap between two very game fighters, but Frearson clearly the superior performer despite being quite marked up and cut just above his right eye.

Simmonds tried to apply relentless pressure throughout the four rounds and landed plenty of shots of his own, but the much cleaner and more eye-catching work came from the more experienced Frearson throughout.

A solid performance on a week’s notice! Referee Bob Williams scored it 40-36 in his favour.

Mitchell Frearson vs Marco Simmonds

17:42 , George Flood

Round 2

A decent second, with Simmonds still trying to walk down the more experienced Frearson and catch him against the ropes as he targets the body.

But Frearson is keeping him at bay nicely at times with a decent variety of shots under plenty of pressure, including a lovely uppercut that lands flush.

Simmonds’ face looks reddened as he gets picked off a lot while trying to keep forcing the tempo.

Mitchell Frearson vs Marco Simmonds

17:38 , George Flood

Round 1

An even and tightly-contested first round between these two British middleweights.

Both look sprightly and aggressive, willing to throw plenty of punches.

Both want to hold centre ring, with Simmonds then walking down Frearson.

Mitchell Frearson vs Marco Simmonds

17:32 , George Flood

Here we go in another four-rounder scheduled at late notice...

Mitchell Frearson vs Marco Simmonds

17:32 , George Flood

Anyway, inclement weather conditions aside, on we go with the early stages of tonight’s undercard.

10-1 Hornchurch middleweight Mitchell Frearson, 32, meets Dudley’s 2-1 Marco Simmonds next.

Both of these men are on the comeback trail after defeats, Frearson stopped by Brad Pauls in an English title fight at York Hall last September.

He outpointed Jordan Grannum on his comeback last month, while Simmonds had a defeat by Joe Blundell sandwiched between wins over Paul Cummings and Connor Meanwell.

17:26 , George Flood

The rain is really falling hard at Selhurst Park now, with the few people already at ringside getting the waterproof ponchos out.

Hopefully just a brief shower that doesn’t have too much of an impact on tonight’s action.

Lewie Pochetty stops Tobie Vermeire in first round

17:22 , George Flood

Well, that certainly didn’t last long!

Superb from Pochetty, who quickly gets to work behind a stiff jab and lands some thudding right hands early in the opening round.

Vermeire is already marked up and is trying to throw some wide shots, but leaves himself wide open to a crushing left hook upstairs that sends him sinking to the canvas. What a shot.

Vermeire stays down and the fight is waved off. A statement first-round knockout for Lewie, who moves to 2-0.

Lewie Pochetty vs Tobie Vermeire

17:19 , George Flood

Tonight’s huge Boxxer event is now officially underway at a rainy Selhurst Park!

Can up-and-coming heavyweight Lewie Pochetty make it an explosive start to proceedings?

Lewie Pochetty vs Tobie Vermeire begins undercard

17:15 , George Flood

The early stages of tonight’s undercard will be underway very shortly at Selhurst Park, where the rain is now falling.

First up it’s to the heavyweight division, where Barnet’s 1-0 Lewie ‘Destruction’ Pochetty meets the winless Welshman Tobie Vermeire in a scheduled four-rounder.

Pochetty began his professional career with a stoppage victory over Estonia’s Mait Metsis at York Hall less than a month ago.

This fight was only added to the bill a couple of days ago, so both men have had preciously little time to prepare.

Billam-Smith questions if Riakporhe can handle stadium step up

17:04 , George Flood

Chris Billam-Smith knows all about big stadium occasions of course, having defeated friend and former training partner Lawrence Okolie in front of an adoring home crowd at his beloved Bournemouth’s Dean Court to realise his world title dreams last May.

But it’s going to be a totally new experience for Richard Riakporhe, whose last bout - a dominant second-round stoppage of France’s Dylan Bregeon in November - was at a rather more low-key venue at The Halls in Wolverhampton.

And Billam-Smith - a veteran of so many raucous and unforgettable nights on the south coast - has questioned if his rival will be able to handle a whole new level of pressure on such a big stage at Selhurst Park, where he is the celebrated home favourite.

"I think the closer the fight will get the more he will realise what a big occasion it is and the show's built around him, isn't it? That's going to take its toll for sure if he can't deal with it," he told Sky Sports.

"He's coming from boxing on an undercard, quite low down the bill in Wolverhampton, against a low-level opponent to where we're at now and he hasn't really had any acid tests. So all that will come to his mind I think.

"It's another great occasion for me. Which is what I love anyway, otherwise I wouldn't be in the position that I'm in. It'll be interesting to see how he deals with it."

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Running order

16:51 , George Flood

Here’s the running order for tonight’s festivities at Selhurst Park, which is hosting the event as part of its centenary celebrations...

Richard Riakporhe interview: On Madonna, modelling and near-death experience

16:42 , George Flood

Richard Riakporhe woke up in a hospital bed, aged 15, to be told he was lucky to be alive, writes Standard Sport’s Matt Majendie.

Stabbed in the chest in a mobile phone robbery, the knife caught his artery and surgeons had to saw through his sternum to stem the internal bleeding.

A few miles from the south London estate where the stabbing took place, life has come full circle, as the 34-year-old Riakporhe prepares to fight Chris Billam-Smith at Selhurst Park.

Riakporhe has crammed a remarkable amount into the intervening years: boxer, Burberry model, sometime dining companion of Naomi Campbell, close friend of Madonna and head of an eponymous foundation to combat knife crime.

Pondering what his 15-year-old self would have said of his subsequent trajectory, he said: “I would have said, ‘What movie are you talking about?’ If someone had told me what’s happened, I would say, ‘What is this nonsense’.”

Click here to read the full interview

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Billam-Smith vs Riakporhe prediction

16:30 , George Flood

The big-hitting Riakporhe had his hand raised the last time these two British rivals met in a close and absorbing contest on the Dillian Whyte-Oscar Rivas undercard at the O2 Arena back in July 2019, with the judges returning scorecards of 97-92, 95-94, 93-96.

Ultimately his formidable power told in the end, with the otherwise hugely durable Billam-Smith bloodied in the seventh round and receiving a standing count from the referee.

But the Bournemouth favourite has continued to go from strength to strength since then while competing at a higher level and will be brimming with confidence to avenge his only career loss to date.

We expect another captivating war tonight that truly could go either way, but this time with Billam-Smith utilising all that extra experience gained and doing enough to just about shade another tight decision.

Billam-Smith to win a thrilling contest on points.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Tonight's undercard in full

16:27 , George Flood

Main undercard

Ben Whittaker vs Ezra Arenyeka

Isaac Chamberlain vs Jack Massey

Dan Azeez vs Hrvoje Sep

Francesca Hennessy vs Dorota Norek

Early undercard

Mitchell Frearson vs Marco Simmonds

Deevorn Miller vs Edwin Mosquera

Lewie Pochetty vs Tobie Vermeire

How to watch Billam-Smith vs Riakporhe

16:25 , George Flood

TV channel: In the UK, Billam-Smith vs Riakporhe is being shown live on Sky Sports Action from 6pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 9pm.

Live stream: Those with a Sky Sports subscription can watch the action online via the Sky Go app.

Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe live

16:21 , George Flood

Chris Billam-Smith takes on Richard Riakporhe tonight in a massive all-British cruiserweight rematch at Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park stadium.

This is a contest some five years in the making, with Billam-Smith putting the WBO belt in the 200lbs division he took from Lawrence Okolie on an unforgettable night in Bournemouth on the line for the second time as he seeks to avenge his one and only professional loss to date.

There is also plenty of action to look forward to on tonight’s Boxxer undercard, including Ben Whittaker, Dan Azeez, Francesca Hennessy and more.

Follow a busy night of boxing from south London live with Standard Sport, with the early undercard underway from around 5:15pm BST.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)