British cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie, who was ordered to begin negotiations with Jack Massey last month, has vacated his belt ahead of the original September 11th purse bid. as a result, the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) has ordered “One Smack” to instead face Richard Riakporhe; the two are set for an October 9th purse bid and must fight “by the end of January 2020.”
!FIGHT NEWS ! The BBBoC have just ordered the fight between me and Jack Massey for the prestigious British title. Let’s do it! #RiakporheMassey pic.twitter.com/B3jbu5zbNE— Richard Riakporhe (@R_Riakporhe) September 12, 2019
Both men are undefeated and under 30, but Riakporhe (10-0, 8 KO) looks to be farther along in his career despite Massey (16-0, 8 KO) having a three-year head start. His last three fights have seen him defeat Sam Hyde, Tommy McCarthy, and most recently Chris Billiam-Smith on July’s Dillian Whyte-Oscar Rivas card. By contrast, fighters with winning records remain a rarity on Massey’s résumé, and his planned fight with Okolie on July 6th would have been his first time booked past eight rounds.
The cruiserweight division is among the most delightfully volatile in the sport, so hopefully this fight will carry on the tradition.