Richard Riakporhe responds to Madonna dating rumours with pair ‘growing close’ – EXCLUSIVE | Boxing | Sport

Richard Riakporhe has poured cold water on rumours that he is dating Madonna after it was reported that he was ‘growing close’ with the pop icon. The pair were recently pictured together on a night out just days after Madonna was said to have broken up with boxer boyfriend Josh Popper.

Last month, it was reported by The Sun that Riakporhe had grown close with Madonna after meeting the 65-year-old while modelling for Burberry. Madonna previously took to Instagram to post an image of her straddling Riakporhe alongside the caption: “I had to sit somewhere.”

Rumours have swirled about the pair being in a relationship over the last few weeks but Riakporhe was quick to shut down the speculation in an interview with Express Sport. He said: “Me and Madonna are just friends. We linked up in the fashion world and the rest is history, pretty much.”

Riakporhe is an undefeated boxer, having won all 17 of his professional fights to date. He was raised in south London and nearly died at the age of 15 when he was stabbed in the chest by a robber attempting to steal his mobile phone.

On Saturday, the 34-year-old will fight for the WBO cruiserweight title when he faces Chris Billam-Smith at Selhurst Park. They previously shared a ring in 2019, with Riakporhe edging a split decision to claim the spoils and preserve his unblemished record.

“I’m feeling good, I’m feeling really good,” he said. “I’m in the zone. I know what I need to do and I know what’s in front of me. I’ve shared the ring with him before, we did 10 rounds before. I feel like it’s going to be one of the best nights of my life.”

Riakporhe is 31 years younger than Madonna, who reportedly broke up with Popper last month after a year of dating. They were said to have struggled to get time together due to Madonna spending the last seven months on the road with her Celebration Tour.

Popper reportedly joined Madonna on a family holiday to Portugal to celebrate her birthday in August. He even joined her on stage during her Brooklyn concert in December, with the couple sharing a kiss in front of a 14,000-strong crowd.

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