Richard Riakporhe could pursue a WBA title fight after he recovers from a 'serious' hand injury
"I want to test myself against the best in the world."
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 09/01/20 8:34am
Richard Riakporhe says he could step away from the domestic scene to pursue a WBA title fight after he recovers from a 'serious' hand injury.
The newly-crowned British cruiserweight champion sits at No 4 in the WBA rankings after claiming the Lonsdale title with a points victory over Jack Massey in December.
Deion Jumah battles Sam Hyde in a final eliminator for the British belt on January 19, with Riakporhe willing to face the winner, but he could also target one of his rivals in the WBA rankings to edge closer to a world title.
"I'm obligated to fight my mandatory for the British title. I'm more than ready to fight whoever," Riakporhe told Sky Sports.
"I want to test myself against the best in the world.
"I'm fourth in the WBA and at the same time, I'm a prizefighter. If there's better opportunities in regards to money and to also improve my ranking to get to where I want to be - and that's a world champion - it only makes sense that I take certain opportunities."
The 30-year-old refuses to reveal details about his injured right hand out of respect to Massey, although he is unlikely to return until early summer.
"A lot of people ask me about the cast. I don't want to talk about it too much," he said.
"In boxing, injuries occur, whether it's breaks or fractures or what have you. When you're in a fight, you don't talk about it. You just have to continue fighting. You're not going to go, 'I broke my hand, I can't continue,' that's absurd.
"I have the respect for my opponent Jack Massey. I don't want to talk about it."
Asked about the recovery timescale, he added: "About three or four months. Yes, it's a serious injury. It's a rehabilitation period as well."
British rival Lawrence Okolie will step up to world title level when he takes on Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO belt, with a date and venue to be confirmed.
Riakporhe hopes his fellow Londoner emerges victorious to enhance their ongoing rivalry and admits an eventual fight would be even more enticing with two world titles at stake.
"That's how it could really go down," he said. "I see us both winning world titles. I believe that he will win that world title against Glowacki. It won't be easy. Of course I want him to win, just not against me.
"I'm fine with fighters winning. I'm cool with that. Against me, you're an obstacle. You're not winning, you're going down."