Top cruiserweight contender Richard Riakporhe out to continue his rise to top of the division on November 18, live on Sky Sports; Riakporhe, the No 1 rated challenger with the WBO, must beat Dylan Bregeon on the Franck Petitjean vs Adam Azim bill in Wolverhampton to stay on course
Tuesday 7 November 2023 18:36, UK
Top cruiserweight contender Richard Riakporhe will look to continue his rise to top of the division on November 18, live on Sky Sports.
Riakporhe will seek to protect his unbeaten record and stay on course for a world title when he boxes Dylan Bregeon at The Halls in Wolverhampton on the Adam Azim vs Franck Petitjean bill.
Bregeon is a former French national cruiserweight champion and two-time EBU European cruiserweight championship challenger, who has previously taken WBO world champion Chris Billam-Smith and newly crowned British and Commonwealth champion Isaac Chamberlain the distance on his previous visits to the UK.
Riakporhe, ranked the No 1 challenger with the WBO, joins a sold-out event topped by a European title double-header as young phenom Azim challenges super-lightweight champion Petitjean, while Tyler Denny aims to continues his Cinderella story as he takes on European middleweight champion Matteo Signani.
Rising Welsh prospect Rhys Edwards is also set for action in a 10-round featherweight clash with Walsall's former British and Commonwealth champion Brad Foster.
Local favourites Dylan Cheema, Niall Berry, Gulley Power and Tion Gibbs get their chance to shine on the big stage as BOXXER and Sky Sports return to the Midlands for another unmissable night of boxing.
"A lot has happened since I've been away but on November 18 I am back and reminding everyone why I am the No 1 contender in this division," Riakporhe said.
"I take every single fight as seriously as possible because I'm right at the line of a world title fight. I'm No 1 with the WBO and come through this fight, take all of that - I'm fighting for a world title."
Ben Shalom, BOXXER CEO and founder, said: “It’s been a frustrating few months for us after we did have a world title agreed in France in September. Fortunately, Richard is in a great position and we expect Richard will channel that into his performance on November 18 and come back to the ring with a bang to remind fans - and his fellow cruiserweights - what he’s all about.
“It’s such an exciting time for the cruiserweight division particularly in the UK. We have Chris Billam-Smith defending his world title against Mateusz Masternak in Bournemouth on December 10, Lawrence Okolie preparing for his shot at redemption, and Richard Riakporhe as the WBO’s No 1 contender waiting for the mandatory to be called.
"2024 is going to be an incredible year for the cruiserweights as we look forward to some massive fights between these three men."
Riakporhe's undefeated professional career includes a tenure as British and WBA Inter-Continental cruiserweight champion as well as an early-career win over current WBO world cruiserweight champion Chris Billam-Smith, the only loss on Billam-Smith's record.
"We're going to be paying close attention to the winner of Masternak vs CBS on December 10. It's going to be very interesting. 2024 is looking very bright," Riakporhe told Sky Sports News.
"I know CBS is going to be up for it because he understands that there's big opportunities for him as well to fight against me and [Lawrence] Okolie."
Billam-Smith and Okolie are both opponents that Riakporhe would like to fight. "Any of them can get it. I don't have no problem with that," Riakporhe said. "I've actually signed to fight all of them. Whoever wants it first, they can just queue up.
"We can just mix it," the Londoner continued. "But we have to come through this [Bregeon fight] so I'm completely focused on my opponent next week Saturday."