IBF cruiserweight belt holder Jai Opetaia wants the winner of Saturday’s WBO cruiserweight title fight between champion Chris Billam-Smith and challenger Richard Riakporhe.

On May 18 the unbeaten Opetaia won the IBF belt for a second time by defeating Latvia’s Mairis Briedis in Saudi Arabia, and while the Australian southpaw is keen to eventually move up to heavyweight, his immediate goals are to bring the titles together at 200 pounds.

Opetaia admits he has not seen much of either boxer, but he is waiting in the wings for the winner.

“I think that’s a great fight. It’s a good fight for the cruiserweight division – those boys have got a lot on the line,” Opetaia said ahead of Saturday’s fight at Selhurst Park in London. “I know they both want to win pretty bad, so I’m expecting them to go to war. Give me the winner of that.

“We want these unification fights to happen. It doesn’t matter who wins the fight. Just whoever does, let’s make it happen. We’ve been chasing it for a long time, so it’s about time we fight for another one.”

Riakporhe holds an early career win over Billam-Smith. They boxed in 2019 when both were 9-0, with Riakporhe taking a split decision win over 10 rounds.

Billam-Smith won the WBO title with a win over former gym mate Lawrence Okolie last summer, and he has made one defense, stopping Mateusz Masternak in December. Billam-Smith is now 19-1 (14 KOs) while the 34-year-old Riakporhe is 17-0 (13 KOs).

Asked how he saw the fight going, Opetaia (25-0, 18 KOs) had no prediction who would win or preference about who he might face.

“Honestly, I’ve got no clue,” he said. “I haven’t really watched them too much. But if and when I do have a fight lined up with one of them, then I’ll start to watch them. Other than that, I’ll just focus on my own s***.”

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