By Chris Williamson

The early undercard at London’s O2 arena featured a mix of learning fights for young prospects and keep-busy run-outs for returning contenders.

Super-bantamweight debutants Louie Lynn and Michael Horobin opened the show in a scheduled four rounder, with switch-hitting Lynn the sharper and busier boxer stopping a bloodied Horobin on his feet in the second. ‘Loco’, from Banstead in Surrey, looks like one to watch.

Promising London cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe endured a shocking start, as he was wobbled and dropped heavily by a right hand in the opener against Adam Williams before rallying back to finish the Mancunian Williams in the third of a scheduled four rounds.

It was Riakporhe’s first professional bout away from Bethnal Green’s York Hall and he is now undefeated in six bouts. Riakporhe and trainer James Cook will take confidence from the manner in which the rangy Londoner bit down on his gum shield to come back and hurt Williams with the left jab, straight right and short left hook. There's plenty for the team to work on in the gym.

Light-heavyweight Craig ’Spider' Richards (now 11-1) rebounded from his sole loss to Frank Buglioni last time out with a solid, efficient third round knockout win over Croatian Ivan Stupalo (now 12-12). Richards softened his man up with punishing left hooks to the body in the second before trapping his opponent in the corner in the third and finished him with a two handed assault.

The late notice Buglioni challenge probably came too early for the Londoner in hindsight and with this warm up out of the way young Richards can begin the climb to the domestic summit in smaller steps. The 27-year-old indicated afterwards that he’s in no rush but eventually expects to take over the division.

Jamie Cox bounced back from his first defeat in a ‘world’ title challenge against George Groves in October with a second round knockout over Yorkshireman Harry Matthews.

The Swindon southpaw landed a beautiful short right hook to finish Matthews and moves to 25-1. Cox is now scheduled to fight John Ryder in May at the same venue on the undercard of Bellew vs Haye II. Cox said afterwards he respects Ryder but is looking forward to the challenge.