Let’s recap the current cruiserweight logjam. Earlier this summer, IBF top contender Mateusz Masternak bailed just a day before his scheduled purse bid to welcome champion Jai Opetaia back to the ring. In response, the IBF called in Richard Riakporhe, the man behind Masternak in the rankings, and gave them a month to negotiate
Now Riakporhe’s bailed, too.
It’s worth noting that Riakporhe (16-0, 12 KO) signed with BOXXER a while back, and this feels eerily reminiscent of Ben Shalom and co. yanking Frazer Clarke from a fight with Fabio Wardley. Even if he has a legit reason, why wait until the last moment to walk away? Why is wasting people’s time on purse bids so common now?
Much like the Filip Hrgovic situation, the IBF has to go back down the rankings. Next up are Mairis Briedis, Huseyin Cinkara, and Yuniel Dorticos, not one of whom is under 37 years old. I wouldn’t be opposed to the Briedis rematch (Briematch), honestly.
As for Riakporhe, he’s also number one with the WBO, so odds are he’ll chase a rematch with Billam-Smith.