Riakporhe Next In Line To Challenge IBF Champ Opetaia

Jai Opetaia vs Richard Riakporhe Purse Bid Set for July 14

IBF orders Jai Opetaia vs Richard Riakporhe title fight
Jai Opetaia (L), Richard Riakporhe | credit: Getty Images

IBF Orders Cruiserweight Battle Between Jai Opetaia and Richard Riakporhe


Next up for Great Britain’s Richard Riakporhe (16-0, 12 KOs) will be a world title fight. That’s because the IBF has ordered a match between him and IBF cruiserweight champion Jai Opetaia (22-0, 17 KOs).

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

The IBF champion was previously in negotiations to face number-one contender Mateusz Masternak. However, Masternak pulled out before a scheduled IBF purse bid. After hearing about Masternak’s decision, an incensed Opetaia took to social media to voice his outrage.

Jai Opetaia talks on Mateusz Masternak pulling out of their fight

With Riakporhe ranked #2 by the IBF, he falls next in line. Opetaia – Riakporhe will now head to a July 14 purse bid unless the two fighters can agree to a deal.

Opetaia won the IBF strap in July 2022 after scoring a unanimous decision victory over Mairis Briedis. But the 27-year-old has been idle since winning the title. He took time off to recover from breaking his jaw during his win over Briedis. Then Opetaia was involved in a nasty legal battle with former promoter Dean Lonergan. After winning a court battle against Lonergan in March 2023, the IBF champion is ready to get back in the ring.

It’s going to be Riakhporhe’s first world title try. The 33-year-old is riding a wave of confidence and feels more than ready for this opportunity. He has a win over reigning WBO champion Chris Billam-Smith. In his last outing, Riakporhe scored a fourth-round stoppage over former WBO champion Krzysztof Glowacki in January 2023.

Opetaia is an athletic southpaw with outstanding boxing skills. Riakhporhe is a rough, physically strong fighter who likes to take the fight to his opponents. This battle is one of the more intriguing fights in the division. Stay tuned to 3kingsboxing.com for additional updates.

Featured Article: Hiruta Runs Over Morton In First Title Defense! Unification Looming?

About Mike W.1925 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.