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Richard Riakporhe mandated for IBF cruiserweight world title shot against Jai Opetaia next

The IBF instructs Jai Opetaia to defend his cruiserweight world title against London's Richard Riakporhe next; Australia's Opetaia won the belt when he dethroned Mairis Briedis last year; Riakporhe is the only pro to have beaten new WBO champion Chris Billam-Smith

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Highlights of Richard Riakporhe's stunning stoppage of Krzysztof Glowacki in Manchester

Jai Opetaia has been instructed to defend his IBF cruiserweight world title against Richard Riakporhe next.

After Poland's Mateusz Masternak pulled out of a purse bid for his shot at the title, the IBF mandated London's Riakporhe as the next challenger for their championship.

There will be a period of time to allow a deal to be reached before that fight goes to purse bids.

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Richard Riakporhe beat Krzysztof Glowacki in impressive fashion and was quick to target world title fights for the near future

Australia's Opetaia was exceptional when he toppled Mairis Briedis to win the IBF belt last year. But he broke his jaw in that fight and also need an operation on his shoulder. Those injuries mean he hasn't boxed since last July.

Taking to social media, Opetaia lambasted Masternak, declaring: "What a waste of time. He used to be a good fighter, now he's a has-been. I would've retired him. If you don't want the smoke, why waste the last few months talking [rubbish]?"

But he must now turn his attention to Riakporhe.

The Londoner has become a leading cruiserweight contender. He is the only man to have handed Chris Billam-Smith, now the WBO cruiserweight champion, a professional loss. Riakporhe knocked out former WBO titlist Krzysztof Glowacki in his last fight as he rose to the No 2 position in the IBF rankings.

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Chris Billam-Smith says a rematch with Lawrence Okolie could be on the cards, followed by a possible unification bout with Richard Riakporhe

His promoter Ben Shalom told Sky Sports: "Richard's got a big world title opportunity next."

Riakporhe has had an eye on a rematch with Billam-Smith and any other championship opportunities.

"I think Riakporhe versus Billam-Smith would be perfect as a unification. I think that's a huge fight, whether it's next or not," Shalom said.

"But Richard will fight for a world title next."

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