Richard Riakporhe explains what happened with Lawrence Okolie
Richard Riakporhe and Lawrence Okolie came close to blows in London last night
IBF No.2 Richard Riakporhe has spoken out following his heated altercation with Lawrence Okolie at the Creed III premiere in London cinema last night. The pair had to be separated by security and onlookers as they lunged and grabbed at each other.
The situation didn't go too far and the situation was broken up before it could escalate any further. Riakporhe and Okolie are the top two cruiserweights in the UK right now and have been on a collision course for quite some time.
Reigning WBO cruiserweight champion Okolie, makes a third defence of his WBO belt against New Zealander David Light on March 25 in Manchester. After that, it is expected that world-ranked Riakporhe will get a shot at his domestic rival.
However, they almost ended up fighting early at the Leicester Square Cineworld event yesterday evening instead. Riakporhe claims the clash ensued after Okolie got ‘into his space’. He doesn’t remember what Okolie said to him but says he ‘saw red’ instantly.
“I was just catching up with a few friends of mine – Craig Richards one of them – and Lawrence just come out of nowhere and started talking to me. I felt disrespected, he came into my space, and then I just saw red,” he told talkSPORT.
“I don’t know what happened after that. Everybody was just getting separated and I just went my way. I saw Spencer Fearon and he was trying to calm it down. I thought ‘I think it’s the best time for us to leave.'”
33-year-old Riakporhe defeated Krzysztof Glowacki last month in the fourth round of the Eubank Jr-Smith undercard in Manchester. His fourth-round TKO was two rounds faster than Okolie managed in their 2021 fight.