According to BOXXER CEO Ben Shalom, no fighter in the heavyweight division wants to face the deadly power of a punch from Richard Riakporhe.
The Londoner continued his bid for the world title on Saturday with a devastating second-round stoppage of Italian Fabio Turchi, ending their IBF eliminator with a left hook to his opponent’s body.
It extended Riakporhe’s perfect record to 15-0 and put his rivals on alert as he considered a shot at one of the belts later this year.
“It’s an amazing specimen, it was his left hand, imagine when his right hand connects,” Shalom said. “I sincerely believe that no one wants to get in the ring with Richard Riakporhe, ask anyone who has fought with him.
“I was asked recently, ‘Who’s the biggest puncher you’ve ever seen?’ and I said Richard Riakporhe, people laughed, this guy is the biggest puncher I’ve seen.
Among those potentially awaiting IBF champion Mairis Briedis, WBC champion Ilunga Makabu and WBA champion Arsen Goulamirian, while Riakporhe and Shalom also have their eye on a potential all-British clash with WBO holder Lawrence Okolie.
“Then Makabu, Briedis, Goulamirian, he’ll take them all. I know Richard wants (Okolie), more than anything,” Shalom said.
“He’s a superstar, we want to see him develop in the right way, we want to see him step up a level. I’m so happy for him and I hope people give him respect.
“I think he can fight for a world title this year, it will come down, if Angel (Fernandez), Robert Garcia and Richard feel he is ready, for me he can.
“Richard Riakporhe will be world champion, whether it’s the next fight or the one after, 100%.”
Riakporhe: The champions dodged and dived me
Talk to sky sports The day after his win over Turchi, Riakporhe said the heavyweight champions “dodged and dunked” him, and believes a fight with Lawrence Okolie would be the “greatest” in the division.
When asked if his victory sends a message to other fighters, Riakporhe replied: “Yes, and if it didn’t, it would be very confusing. You know I’m a threat.
“All the other champions, they dodged and dunked me because they know it’s a very risky fight. They need to make sure they get a big reward. Me, Boxxer, Sky Sports – we’re ready to make it happen.”
The 32-year-old says he’s ready to fight any champion willing to step in.
“I don’t mind – any champion,” he said. “I just want to get my hands on one of these belts and everyone believes and believes in me and myself that I would get one of these belts. It doesn’t really matter – every champion is a threat.”
Riakporhe said a fight with Okolie could happen next year, but said “politics” could make things difficult.
“I think the fans are going to love it,” he said. “I think it’s the biggest fight in the cruiserweight division right now – me versus Lawrence Okolie. I think it could happen maybe next year, but we’ll see.
“I think Okolie wants to unify and then he might want to move up to heavyweight, so it all depends.
“There’s a lot of politics in boxing, unfortunately, and it’s just about making sure all parties are happy, but I’m ready and I’m sure he’s ready. I think we can get there. to arrive.”
Nelson Warns World Champions: “Fight Him Now!”
Sky Sports’ Johnny Nelson has issued a stern warning to Riakporhe’s heavyweight rivals to face him now, or risk stumbling upon an even better, more confident and accomplished version of The Midnight Train further down the line .
“The way he talks, the way he walks, the way he fights, now I believe him,” Nelson said. “I said before that I didn’t think he had the confidence to match his ability.
“Since the press conference I’ve been thinking ‘he speaks differently’. Now he believes in what he can do. He’s developed an advantage at home where I like what I see.
“The champions there need to have him now rather than two or three fights later because this boy is going to be unbeatable.
“Actually I would say Briedis rather than Makabu, Makabu is cunning, yes he can get carried away, but I think he will get more credit for getting rid of someone like Briedis, and he will beat him, I know he will beat him.”