RUMOR MILL: Opetaia vs Riakporhe IBF Title Fight On August 23

Opetaia Ready to Return to the Ring Following a Lengthy Layoff

Jai Opetaia vs Richard Riakporhe targets August 23 in Australia
Jai Opetaia (L), Richard Riakporhe | credit: Cameron Spence/Getty Images, News Group Newspapers LTD

Jai Opetaia vs Richard Riakporhe Targets August 23 in Australia


Australia’s Jai Opetaia (22-0, 17 KOs) will defend the IBF cruiserweight title for the first time against mandatory challenger Richard Riakporhe (16-0, 12 KOs). The IBF ordered the bout on June 15. Here’s the update on when and where the fight could occur.

Mick Francis of Tasman Fighters Management is the manager of the defending champion. According to the Australian News outlet, The Sydney Morning Herald, they are at the advanced stage of negotiations. Team Opetaia has a target date of August 23 at the Glitter Strip in Queensland, Australia.

A LONG TIME COMING

Opetaia won the IBF strap in July 2022 with an upset win over Maris Briedis. But the 28-year-old has not fought since. He took time off to recover from a broken jaw suffered in the fight against Briedis. Then the champion was involved in a nasty legal battle with ex-promoter Dean Lonergan.

Riakporhe has been patiently waiting to get what will be his first world title shot. The 33-year-old from London, England became the mandatory challenger with a second-round stoppage over Fabio Turchi in June 2022. Riakporhe’s last outing was a fourth-round stoppage against former WBO champion Krzysztof Glowacki in January 2023.

Francis said they are optimistic that a deal for Opetaia – Riakporhe can be finalized by July 14. If that happens, the contest will air on DAZN. On July 5, Tasman Fighters signed an exclusive broadcast deal with the streaming service. Stay tuned to 3kingsboxing.com for additional updates.

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About Mike W.2008 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.