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Opetaia instructed to defend IBF cruiserweight world title against Richard Riakporhe
The International Boxing Federation (IBF) has mandated that Jai Opetaia, the Australian boxer, must defend his cruiserweight world title against Richard Riakporhe from London. This comes after Poland’s Mateusz Masternak pulled out of a purse bid for his shot at the title. There will be a period of time allowed for negotiations before the fight goes to purse bids.
Last year, Opetaia won the IBF belt by beating Mairis Briedis in an exceptional match but unfortunately broke his jaw and needed shoulder surgery as well. As a result, he hasn’t fought since last July.
“What a waste of time,” said Opetaia on social media regarding Masternak pulling out of their scheduled fight. “He used to be a good fighter; now he’s just washed up. I would’ve retired him if we had fought.”
Riakporhe is ranked second in the IBF rankings and is considered one of the best contenders in his division. He handed Chris Billam-Smith, who is now WBO cruiserweight champion, his first professional loss and knocked out former WBO titlist Krzysztof Glowacki in his last fight.
Riakporhe eyes championship opportunities
Richard Riapkorhe’s promoter Ben Shalom has confirmed that he has been looking forward to fighting for championships titles.
“Richard’s got a big world title opportunity next,” said Shalom. “I think Riakporhe versus Billam-Smith would be perfect as a unification. I think that’s a huge fight, whether it’s next or not.”
Opetaia must now turn his attention to the upcoming match against Riakporhe and work towards defending his IBF belt successfully.
The stage is set for an exciting match between Opetaia and Riakporhe as both fighters aim to prove their worth in the ring. Fans are eagerly anticipating this event, which could have significant implications on the future of professional boxing.
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