Richard Riakporhe’s raw punch power has shattered bones, shocked his British rivals, and even stalled his own career.
Whilst nursing an obliterated hand, Riakporhe still couldn’t stop himself from smiling.
His destructive right fist was covered in fractures, just as he was within striking distance of a world title fight.
As former opponents fought for his British title, Riakporhe watched and waited for some recognition.
“It’s funny. It was almost like they didn’t want to mention my name. Like I didn’t exist,” Riakporhe told Sky Sports.
“Everyone noticed it.
“I started to get flooded with messages, all over my Twitter and Instagram. ‘What is going on? What are you doing?'”
The cruiserweight contender had bludgeoned and beaten the established names in his division, perhaps provoking disbelief among fighters who were expected to defeat the rugged Londoner.
Sam Hyde endured a horrendous swelling over his eye as he was pounded to a halt by Riakporhe, who then sent shockwaves through the legs of Tommy McCarthy in a stunning knockout win.
Chris Billam-Smith and Jack Massey, two other favoured fighters, were hurt and outpointed by Riakporhe, but this savage punching put a strain on his body.
“I was putting my hand in the glove, clenching my fist, just because there were different pains all over my hands. Sharp pains,” Riakporhe admitted.
The 31-year-old insists he is now a more dangerous proposition, despite an absence of nearly two years from the ring.
Riakporhe has teamed up with new trainer Angel Fernandez, initially honing his hurtful jab while his right hand was held together by pins, and he plans to unleash sharper combinations on Krzysztof Twardowski tonight, live on Sky Sports.
“Don’t be telling my opponents these secrets,” Riakporhe laughs.
“Every person I’ve fought, I’ve hurt. My record is 11 wins, eight KOs. The only reason why I didn’t get the other KOs is because my technical side was lacking.
“If I want these KOs, I need a team working around me, and I need to step it up a level. I need to have a world championship type of team built around me.
“I have Angel Fernandez and he has been absolutely phenomenal. My boxing IQ has improved so much.
“Every day I’m having an epiphany. How come I didn’t know that?”
Fernandez is part of Anthony Joshua’s inner circle, a specialised member of the coaching team, and Riakporhe reinforced his friendship with the heavyweight prior to last weekend’s defeat by Oleksandr Usyk.
“I’ve known him [Joshua] for a very long time, probably going back 12 years,” said Riakporhe
“Boxing, sparring each other back in the amateurs when he was going to world championship fights.
“We have similar notions towards life, about giving back. Community orientated. He helped me, gave me a lot of good advice.
“I remember even after the Pulev fight. A week after the fight, we were sparring. That just shows the type of dedication that he has to the sport, even though he’s achieved so much. You have to respect that and it rubs off.
“You would think, ‘Once I’ve made these millions, I’m going to be in the Bahamas, with a cocktail and my legs stretched out.’ But these guys are back in the gym and they’re hungry.
“It’s been an honour to be around people like Joshua.”
With his right hand now ‘completely healed’, Riakporhe resumes his pursuit of the division’s world champions, which should lead towards another explosive British fighter, WBO champion Lawrence Okolie.
Dilan Prasovic was knocked out in the third round as Okolie completed his most recent demolition job on the Joshua vs Usyk bill.
Okolie has called for unification clashes, but the returning Riakporhe intends to enforce a fight by winning a world title himself, or driving up public demand to ensure he simply cannot be ignored.
“All I want to do is become a unified world champion,” said Riakporhe.
“That’s on my mind. It’s not enough to become a world champion for me, and I know I can do it.
“Imagine that, at The O2, or Wembley. Two cruiserweights, two winners. People that believe they’re the best and mixing it. We’re going to put everything on the line.
“I know how it would go. I know exactly how it would go.”
Watch Riakporhe vs Twardowski on tonight’s Eubank Jr bill, from 7.30pm on Sky Sports.