Richard Riakporhe stopped Krzysztof Glowacki in the fourth round of the chief support bout on today’s Eubank Jr vs Smith card from Manchester, with Ekow Essuman, Joseph Parker, and Frazer Clarke also picking up wins on the main card portion of the show.
A rundown of the results.
Richard Riakporhe TKO-4 Krzysztof Glowacki
A good win here for Riakporhe (16-0, 12 KO), who continues to show improvement in his overall game. This win over ex-titleholder Glowacki (32-4, 20 KO) was definitely his biggest and most impressive, the sort of fight Boxxer wanted to see him in before pushing him into a possible world title challenge against Lawrence Okolie this year, and he passed the test with flying colors.
Riakporhe, 33, is still a bit raw, but all things considered, there’s no chance he’s going to develop into some master technician. He’s learned how to take better advantage of his attributes — height, length, and shocking power in his right hand — and has developed into a real contender, a guy who would be at worst dangerous against anyone in the cruiserweight division.
Riakporhe hurt the 36-year-old Glowacki in round two, and it seemed clear from there that the Polish veteran just wasn’t going to be able to hold up against Riakporhe’s power, and he wasn’t going to be able to totally avoid taking punches, either.
The stoppage came at 2:44 of round four, when referee Howard Foster jumped in during a barrage of punches from Riakporhe, with Glowacki stuck in the corner.
Ekow Essuman MD-12 Chris Kongo
Judges had it 114-114, 115-114, and 116-113, so Essuman retains his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles. Bad Left Hook unofficially scored the fight 115-113 for Kongo; the outcome is certainly debatable, but Kongo did himself no favors in the back half of the fight, either.
Essuman (19-0, 7 KO) again escapes kind of by the skin of his teeth, but a win’s a win on the record, really. Kongo (14-2, 7 KO) jumped out to a lead on my card, anyway, but Essuman clearly won the last four rounds, and if you find two others to give to him — not difficult — then you’ve got it even, and if you find three others to give to him — again, not that difficult — then it’s a win for him. And European judges do love a 10-10 round, it’s actually illegal for them to do an entire 12-round fight without scoring something 10-10, little known fact.
Kongo was also the one most clearly hurt on a couple of occasions, and the big thing you can say for Essuman here is he never gave up on the attack, even when he was struggling with Kongo’s range and height earlier in the bout. Kongo seemed to just run out of steam in the last third particularly.
Joseph Parker UD-10 Jack Massey
Not the best or most impressive performance from Parker (31-3, 21 KO), but a deserved win, and judges’ scores were fair at 96-93, 97-92, and 97-93. Bad Left Hook unofficially had it 97-92 for Parker, but Massey (20-2, 11 KO), a cruiserweight by trade, gave this a real go, and was far more competitive than the TV commentary let on or noticed.
Massey, 29, hadn’t fought in nine months and, again, is still really a cruiserweight, coming in just over 213 lbs for this fight compared to Parker around 245. Parker had moments here where he was pretty good, but he also at times looked like the same old Joseph Parker, prone to sleepwalking through some rounds. Trainer Andy Lee tried to blame Massey’s “negativity” on the fight not being so good to watch, and Massey was docked a point in round eight for holding, but Parker held and fouled plenty, too, and wasn’t called for it.
In short, this was not an unusual Parker performance. There’s the building thought as the years go by that Parker is really at his best when he thinks his back is against the wall (Whyte fight, Joyce fight), and if a fight isn’t really challenging him, he can look pretty pedestrian. Of course, he never wins those fights where his back is against the wall, either, so it’s a real conundrum.
Frazer Clarke RTD-4 Kevin Espindola
Clarke (5-0, 4 KO) becomes the first man to stop Espindola (7-7, 2 KO), but surely not how he’d have liked, as Espindola retired in the corner because of an injury to his hand, it seemed, and not because of anything Clarke was doing, really.
Not to say the 31-year-old Clarke wasn’t winning this handily or that his shots had no effect or anything, just that Espindola is if nothing else an expert punch absorber and survivor, and this was not Clarke beating him into submission or anything. But it’s a clean win and Clarke moves forward as he hopes to get a domestic title fight by the end of this year, and he’s already got his sights set on facing Fabio Wardley “in the next few fights.”
Frazer Clarke pounding the body with brute force pic.twitter.com/Cwjvmrhypv— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) January 21, 2023