Riakporhe became the mandatory challenger after Mateusz Masternak decided to pull out of a purse bid, leaving Riakporhe as the next-highest contender.
As such, both Riakporhe and Opetaia have 30 days to come to an agreement before purse bids are issued.
The IBF have now officially ordered Jai Opetaia to defend his IBF cruiserweight world title vs Richard Riakporhe next. Parties have 30 days to agree a deal, then purse bids.
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) June 15, 2023
The Brit has an unbeaten record with 16 wins which includes 12 KOs. Victories over Olanrewaju Durodola, Deion Jumah, Fabio Turchi and Krzysztof Glowacki have propelled the 33-year-old to this position.
Much in the same way, Opetaia is undefeated with a record of 22 wins with 17 KOs. His last fight was a victory over Mairis Briedis, as he is also keen on unifying the division.
“What a waste of time! He [Masternak] used to be a good fighter and now he’s a has been scared I’ll retire him for good.
“If you didn’t want the smoke, then why waste the last few months talking shit. @chrisbillam let’s make this unification fight happen! I’m ready when you are,” Opetaia
A win for Riakporhe, provided that negotiations go well, would boost his chances in the division.
Billam-Smith is the current WBO holder after beating Okolie via a majority decision, but a rematch is most likely to occur.
Social Media Response
Great fight,hope it lands in the UK 👍🥊
— Håkan Johansson (@h_hkan) June 15, 2023
Tough fight for both men
— Fire Skull 🔥💀 (@FireSkull2023) June 15, 2023
Jai by KO Rd10.
— The eHealth Nurse (@nursebuchi) June 15, 2023