Featured image: Lawrence Lustig/BOXXER.
British cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe has withdrawn from a scheduled purse bid to face IBF cruiserweight champion Jai Opetaia.
The Londoner confirmed his withdrawal in a statement posted to his social media earlier today.
“I have worked extremely hard the past two years to get myself to the top of the cruiserweight division”, Riakporhe said.
“We had accepted an offer to fight for the IBF title on two occasions in two different locations. For reasons unclear to me and to my promoter, these offers were then withdrawn.
“During these negotiations, I’ve missed out on other opportunities, which has left me inactive. It is clear other parties were simply trying to disrupt my journey, which I won’t let happen”, he continued.
“I have sacrificed a lot to be in a mandatory position with two governing bodies and have worked towards world titles my whole career.
“I would like to thank the IBF for their support, and I look forward to fighting for their prestigious title one day. However, I have chosen to go a different route and will be sharing news of another world title opportunity very soon.
“I will become world champion and I will unify the division.”
Riakporhe, who is promoted by BOXXER, last appeared with a fourth-round stoppage of Krzysztof Glowacki in January.
Opetaia signed a co-promotional with rival promotion Matchroom Boxing last month alongside Tasman Fighters, and promoter Eddie Hearn branding the withdrawal “a joke” on Twitter.
Hearn also responded to Riakporhe on Instagram questioning the process which led to him pulling out from the purse bid scheduled to take place earlier today.
“What are they spinning you? Purse bids were today. Why pull out?”, wrote Hearn.
The next challenger for Opetaia’s title will likely be former champion Mairis Briedis who surrendered the belt to the Australian thirteen months ago.