Matchroom Promoter, Eddie Hearn, has vented his frustrations at rival promotional company, BOXXER, for once again pulling out of purse bids at the last minute and ultimately causing the collapse of another title fight.
Back in May, BOXXER and Frazer Clarke were criticised for withdrawing from a proposed British title bout against Fabio Wardley, meaning in the eyes of many that Clarke missed out on a major opportunity to advance his career and British boxing fans were denied an exciting heavyweight battle.
Now, Richard Riakporhe has removed himself from the purse bid process process to fight the IBF Cruiserweight champion, Jai Opetaia, opting to pursue a different route.
Speaking to Boxing Social, Hearn said that he couldn’t understand the decision. Although the statement came from the fighter himself, he believes BOXXER have influenced proceedings.
“Frazer Clarke should have been in that fight for hundreds of thousands of pounds against Fabio Wardley, if he would have won, he could be making seven figures. Next, he’s got to fight at York Hall, against Mariusz Wach instead.”
“Now, what is Richard Riakporhe being spun, ‘we will put you in with [Mateusz] Masternak, then you will fight the winner of Okolie-Billam-Smith’. Why? You’ve got Jai Opetaia, but what I am most p***ed off about is that you wasted five weeks of Jai Opetaia’s career by basically either not having the money to rock up to the purse bids, or because you’re too worried about losing the purse bid.”
“When they issue a statement saying, ‘we have run out of patience’, the purse bid is in three hours, there is no patience required. Wait and see what everyone was going to bid.
Your promoters have an obligation to bid a certain amount, we’re trying to break the bank to get that fight, I just can’t believe that you can get talked out of it like that.”
Opetaia has been left without a fight, extending a thirteen-month spell of inactivity since winning the world title. It’s likely he will be made to face former champion Mairis Briedis, whom he won the belt from in 2022.