Featured image: Lawrence Lustig/BOXXER.
London cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe will return to the ring against Belgium’s Dylan Bregeon in Wolverhampton next weekend.
BOXXER confirmed the fight’s addition to Adam Azim‘s challenge against European super-lightweight champion Franck Petitjean at the Civic Hall on Tuesday evening.
The bout will be Riakporhe’s first fight since his fourth-round stoppage defeat over former world champion Krzysztof Glowacki in January.
Riakporhe mandatory for CBS’ WBO belt
Riakporhe remains mandatory challenger for Chris Billam-Smith‘s WBO cruiserweight title which the latter claimed with a majority-decision victory over Lawrence Okolie in May.
Okolie is however owed a second fight with the champion courtesy of a rematch clause inserted to the first fight’s contract, meaning Riakporhe’s first world title shot may be put on hold.
The 33-year-old already holds a win over Billam-Smith as Riakporhe edged a split-decision victory over ten rounds in 2019 but he is yet to compete for world honours in his 16-fight career.
The Londoner was also set to challenge IBF champion Jai Opetaia before the former withdrew from a scheduled purse bid at the eleventh hour as Riakporhe accused ‘other parties’, believed to be Opetaia’s co-promoter Eddie Hearn, of ‘trying to disrupt his journey’.
Riakporhe has however told Sky Sports that he expects to face both Billam-Smith and Okolie next year providing he comes through the Bregeon bout unscathed.
“I’m number one with the WBO, and [if I] come through this fight and they order that, I’m gonna be fighting for a world title,” he said.
“We’ll be paying close attention to the winner of CBS vs Masternak [in Bournemouth on December 10th], so it’s gonna be very interesting. 2024 is looking very bright.
“I’ve signed to fight both of them [CBS and Okolie], but whoever wants it first they can get it. I want that world title first, and then we can just mix it.”