Okolie: “I Made Riakporhe An Offer And Didn’t Hear Nothing”

Is Riakporhe Avoiding a Fight with Okolie?

Lawrence Okolie says Richard Riakporhe has not responded to his fight offer
Lawrence Okolie (L), Richard Riakporhe (credit: Getty Images)

Lawrence Okolie Says Richard Riakporhe Has Not Responded to His Fight Offer


Up next for WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie (19-0, 14 KOs) is a title defense against Chris Billam-Smith (17-1, 12 KOs) on May 27. But an even bigger fight could even lie ahead for Okolie. That’s a fight with Richard Riakporhe (16-0, 12 KOs). But according to Okolie, Riakporhe may be guilty of ducking.

ALL BARK AND NO BITE?

The two British rivals were in attendance for Joshua Buatsi’s decision victory over Pawel Stepien. After the fight, Okolie spoke to the British news source, Boxing News. When questioned bout Riakporhe, the cruiserweight champion wondered if Riakporhe wanted to get in the ring with him.

“The bottom line is I’m a boxer who goes and says ‘yo, I’ll fight this person, that person’, and whichever one them says yes, gets it.

I made an offer for a fight, didn’t hear nothing, and now he’s signed a new deal (with Boxxer). So, me and Chris go. So, God willing, I can get past Chris, and then maybe re-offer . . . I don’t know if they really want to fight or what they’re trying to do . . . Let’s just do it.”

FAR FROM FRIENDS

The beef between Okolie and Riakporhe is legit. They’ve been taunting each other in interviews. At the London, England premiere of Creed in February 2023, they got into a well-publicized scuffle.

Riakporhe is ranked second by the IBF and WBO, and fourth by the WBC. He’s on the cusp of a world title shot and claims that Okolie is his preferred target. He feels that a battle between them is the biggest fight in the division.

At the very least, it would be the most heated. It would be a fight that the local audience in England would come out for. If Okolie can take care of business against Billiam-Smith on May 27, there will be a demand that he faces Riakporhe next. Nothing draws a crowd like a good grudge match. Okolie-Riakporhe would be the definition of that.

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About Mike W.2015 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.