Richard Riakporhe must wait for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s decision before finalising his world title plans, said promoter Ben Shalom.
Riakporhe flattened Olanrewaju Durodola to win the WBC silver cruiserweight belt and has lined up a future fight against world champion Ilunga Makabu.
But the WBC have approved a request from pound-for-pound phenom Canelo to bravely enter a fifth weight division by challenging Makabu.
“A lot of the cruiserweight division is on hold to see what Canelo does,” BOXXER promoter Shalom said.
“He is the biggest star in boxing and every governing body will make room for him.
“The whole division – Riakporhe, Lawrence Okolie, Mairis Briedis – is having to wait for him.
“Richard is only looking one way – towards a world title.
“We are assessing which route that may be. Expect to see news pretty quickly.”
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Frazer Clarke and Richard Riakporhe have sparred hundreds of rounds…
Undisputed super-middleweight champion Canelo also has the option to venture into the light-heavyweight division to face IBF and WBC titleholder Artur Beterbiev, in what would arguably be his most daunting task.
“He has expressed interest to me,” Bob Arum of Top Rank, who promotes Beterbiev, said about Canelo.
Arum expects Canelo to “abandon” plans to challenge Makabu, which would give Riakporhe the green light to pursue the Congolese title holder.
Riakporhe’s return to the ring is planned for March or April by BOXXER.
“He has had a great year by announcing himself back on the scene,” Shalom said.
“He is in world title contention, particularly with the WBC. We are waiting to see what happens with Makabu and Canelo.
“There is a lot of opportunity in that division.
“Even domestically, which is a scene that Richard has already blitzed through, it is a really exciting division. We saw Isaac Chamberlain win.”