Richard Riakporhe backed to become cruiserweight world champion; Johnny Nelson sends warning to Londoner’s rivals

Richard Riakporhe backed to become cruiserweight world champion; Johnny Nelson sends warning to Londoner’s rivals

BOXXER CEO Ben Shalom insists Richard Riakporhe will become a world champion ‘100 per cent’ after stopping Fabio Turchi on Saturday, while Sky Sports’ Johnny Nelson warns his rivals to “get him now”

No fighter in the cruiserweight division wants to come up against Richard Riakporhe’s deadly one-punch power, believes BOXXER CEO Ben Shalom.

The Londoner continued his world-title assault on Saturday with a devastating second-round stoppage of Italy’s Fabio Turchi, ending their IBF eliminator with a left hook to the body of his opponent.

It extended Riakporhe’s perfect record to 15-0 and put his rivals on alert as he eyes a shot at one of the belts later this year.

“He’s an incredible specimen, that was his left hand, imagine when his right hand connects,” said Shalom. “I genuinely believe nobody wants to get in the ring with Richard Riakporhe, ask anybody who has sparred with him.

“I was asked recently, ‘who is 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 potential lying in wait are IBF champion Mairis Briedis, WBC champion Ilunga Makabu and WBA champion Arsen Goulamirian, while Riakporhe and Shalom also have one eye on an eventual all-British clash with WBO holder Lawrence Okolie.

“Next, Makabu, Briedis, Goulamirian, he’ll take them all. I know Richard wants (Okolie), more than anything,” said Shalom.

“He is a superstar, we want to see him develop in the right way, we want to see him take it up a level. I’m just so happy for him and I hope people put some respect on him.

“I think he can fight for a world title this year, it will come down, if Angel (Fernandez), Robert Garcia and Richard feel like he’s ready, for me he can.

“Richard Riakporhe will be a world champion, whether it’s the next fight or one after, 100 per cent.

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