WBO world cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie demanded “an official callout” from Richard Riakporhe, and his London rival duly obliged.
On Saturday Riakporhe beat a mutual opponent in Krzysztof Glowacki, stopping the Pole in four rounds, two rounds quicker than Okolie managed in 2021.
The win leaves Riakporhe well positioned to challenge for a world title. Okolie first has to come through a mandatory defence against David Light but would relish an all-British clash with his fellow Londoner.
“I’m number one,” Okolie told Sky Sports News. “Richard’s someone who’s not scared, he’s not afraid. He doesn’t look at me and say: ‘Lawrence is unbeatable’. He believes in himself, in his skills, in his training.
“But unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to be enough the day me and him fight each other. But that’s my opinion and the only way to find that out is to actually get in the ring and make it happen.”
After his win on Saturday night Riakporhe had called for a shot at any of the world champions. “I believe I’m No 1. I’ve always believed it deep within me and [fighting Okolie] will be a good chance for me to prove it,” Riakporhe said when both fighters appeared head-to-head on Sky Sports News on Tuesday.
“As long as the business is right, it would be great to have another title [on the line in the fight] as well. Because we can make a big unification fight.”
Okolie said: “I respect every fighter. I respect the skills that he’s got. But as soon as someone says they want what you have – your belt, your name, to knock you out – as soon as I hear someone say my name, as my track record shows, I’m ready to go.
“Champions should fight champions and then contenders should be dying to fight champions. That’s the energy that I’m on and I’ve been on it,” he continued.
“That’s why I’m a level above. I’m able to say: ‘Forget all this other stuff. I just want smoke’.
“When I was coming up looking for a world title, my energy was never: ‘Oh, if the price was right. Oh, if the business is good.’ It’s just I want to fight.
“Don’t say: ‘I’m a fighter if the business makes sense’.”
Okolie went on to demand: “I want to hear an official callout right now from Richard, if he’s up for it. Because I didn’t feel the one that he did the other day. I want to believe him right now. So that when I’m going to training I’m thinking, ‘After I beat my mandatory, that’s one we can make next if none of the other champions want a unification.'”
Riakporhe didn’t hesitate to take up his offer. “We can make it happen for sure,” he replied.
“You know me, Lawrence. I’m a fighter and that’s what I do. I was born to fight so we can make it happen this year. If you’re on it, I’m on it.
“Let’s just make it happen this year. Simple.”
#Lawrence #Okolie #demands #official #callout #Richard #Riakporhe #potential #world #title #clash #Boxing #News