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Bombs on the Thames Part One: The Pride of South London.

If Anyone Hadn't Heard Of Miguel's Gym Before Last Night, You Have Now

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By Aaron Cooper

Let me ask you all a question. Can you remember a night of boxing action where virtually every single fight ended by stoppage? I certainly can’t.

But rather than completely recap every fight, because let’s face it you were all watching it. I’d like to do a series of unique articles on last night’s card.

Nine miles west of last night’s venue, in the heart of Brixton in between the railway arches stands Miguel’s gym. A gym that they claim to be London’s friendliest gym. One thing is for certain, following last night’s action it will almost certainly be London’s happiest gym. For two fighters that have learned their craft at Miguel’s continued their rise in the professional ranks.

Unbeaten Richard Riakporhe stands at a towering six foot five. Coming from Walworth just south of the river, he is twenty-eight years old. Having fought exclusively at London’s hallowed York Hall, last night was his first time fighting out under the bring lights of the O2, and one thing is for certain. We WILL be seeing lots more of this budding prospect. It is paramount for a young boxer to be brought through the ranks in the correct way. Fighting the right fights at the right time, enabling them to learn as they go. Last night I learned that Richard has the heart. He suffered a knockdown in the very first round of his four-round bout with Adam Williams. Knowing the first round it was a 10-8 reverse in favour of Williams. Riakporhe composed himself and showed the country just why he will be a force to be reckoned with at cruiserweight. Such power does this young man have that Williams was left staring at the lights in North Greenwich, requiring assistance to be helped onto his stool. With other young cruiserweights like Lawrence Okolie also making their way towards the British Champion, Matty Askins the division is beginning to heat up.

I am full of admiration for Riakporhe’s gym mate, Chris ‘2 Slick’ Kongo. Chris is a twenty-five-year-old welterweight from Bermondsey. He too was also fighting at the O2 for the first time. What impressed me about Chris was how he performed when asked. You see his bout was floating, he had no idea when he would be called to fight, and when that time came he was ready. But you see, because of the early knockouts, when Chris was asked to fight the O2 was heaving. He ended up being the penultimate fight on the card. He produced a mature performance to widely outpoint Serge Ambomo.

If you hadn’t heard of Miguel’s gym you certainly have now. There is plenty more to come from these two men and this budding gym.

South London … stand up!