Home Boxing News Richard Riakporhe fast approaching world title shot, but which champion will he...

Richard Riakporhe fast approaching world title shot, but which champion will he choose?

Richard Riakporhe. Photo credit: Mark Robinson

Cruiserweight contender Richard Riakporhe 16-0 (12) is closing in on a shot at WBA champion Arsen Goulamirian 28-0 (17).

The 33-year-old Brit is coming off a fourth-round knockout of Polish veteran Krzysztof Glowacki 32-4 (20) in Manchester in January.

If the fight with France’s Goulamirian, 35, can’t be made, the other option is to pursue as shot at the winner of the WBO world title fight between Lawrence Okolie 19-0 (14) and Chris Billam-Smith 17-1 (12) in Bournemouth on May 27.

“I think we’re close to a deal now, it’s just going to be a decision as to whether we want the winner of May 27 (when Okolie and Billam-Smith meet in Bournemouth) or go straight into the Goulamirian fight,” Riakporhe’s promoter Ben Shalom told Sky Sports.

“That will be something where we sit down with Richard and make a decision.

“That’s the beauty of being in a position like Richard’s, he’s got options but it will be a world title and he deserves it. He feels it doesn’t matter who it is, he’ll be knocking them out.”

Shalom added that his boxer is a big draw and should be treated accordingly when it comes to his fight purse.

“He’s a money fight 100 per cent,” he said. “I think nobody wants to fight him, but given the fact he’s a star now and given the fact he’s headlining shows he’s one of the biggest fights in the division for anybody.

“He’s the biggest name now outside of the world champions, the one people are looking at and people are now getting the belief he can beat anybody, whether that’s Okolie or Goulamirian.

“He’s earned the position. One way or another he gets his world title shot this year. He’s a name that’s going to be in super fights in the division for the next 12 months.”

Riakporhe, who holds the number two ranking in the WBO and number four in both the IBF the WBC, rates Goulamirian’s ability but believes he is beatable.

“He’s a dangerous fighter, very good, undefeated, had numerous defences against decent opponents,” said Riakporhe.

“Been in the game for a minute, but I just believe in myself, I’ve been in situations before and come through, this has given me more and more confidence every single time.

“Not just one time, two times, three times, but more. In my mind I always believe I can beat anybody I put my mind to, the only thing that holds me back is my mentality. If I ever get any doubts in my mind I get rid of them.

“The only person that can stop me from winning any fight is myself.”

The other champions in the division are Australia’s Jai Opetaia 22-0 (17), who holds both the IBF and Ring magazine’s championships, and Sweden’s Badou Jack 28-3-3 (17), who is the WBC boss.