Boxer, Richard Riakporhe helps us to inspire young people
As part of our Premier League Kicks virtual activities, we were extremely lucky to host a Q&A with unbeaten cruiserweight WBA inter-continental champion, Richard Riakporhe.
Premier League Kicks is a free programme that uses the power of football and the value of sports participation, to engage, inspire & educate young children and adults. Due to the pandemic we have had to change the way we do this, now offering exciting virtual events such as Q&A’s with sportsmen and women, DJ sessions, FIFA tournaments and much more.
Although Richard is now one of the best boxers in his division, he explained that he had faced a lot of trials and tribulations before reaching prosperity. Richard spent the early years of his life on a crime-ridden council estate in South-East London. At the age of 13, he became more aware of the illegal activities that were taking place on his estate and, as an impressionable child seeking guidance, he effortlessly became involved. After a tragic stabbing at a nightclub that left him fighting for his life in hospital, Richard took an executive decision to embark on a new, more fruitful path of life. Richard’s boxing career commenced after the coaches at his boxing gym noticed his potential and asked him to begin training more frequently. He competed in his first fight at the age of 19.
Although he had a promising career in boxing, Richard attended university where he acquired a degree in Marketing, Communications and Advertising as a “backup path”. However, it didn’t take long for his boxing career to take off after finishing his University degree as he turned professional only one-year after. Since his professional career, he has competed in 11 fights and is currently unbeaten.
Question: What advice do you wish you were given to help stop you going down the wrong path?
Answer: “I wish I had somebody in my life to give me more guidance; Someone to tell me that the decisions that I’m making will lead me down the wrong path. If you’re already on the wrong path, sometimes all it takes is to hear from someone that has been in your position before to give you the push you need to change your life. And that’s one of the reasons I do these talks, to help push those who may need it to change their path.
You may reach a point where your whole environment is foul, but you need to make a conscious decision to separate yourself from that environment as much as you can. I distanced myself from my environment and mentally and physically built myself up to have the confidence to say to people “I’m not about that life anymore, I want to focus on my boxing and my studies”. If you don’t have anyone in your life that can guide you, read about people that you admire to motivate you to change.”
Here’s a snippet from the Q&A:
Thank you to Richard for taking part in our Q&A and we wish you the best of luck in achieving your 2021 goal of winning the world title!