Richard Riakporhe reacts to WBC plans to rank Jake Paul in top 15

By Boxing News - 02/16/2023 - Comments

By Jake Tiernan: Richard Riakporhe sounded amused & disappointed when asked about his thoughts on the WBC planning on giving Youtuber Jake Paul a top 15 ranking at cruiserweight if he successfully defeats Tommy Fury in their celebrity match on February 26th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The unbeaten cruiserweight contender Riakporhe (16-0, 12 KOs) says he sees this move by the World Boxing Council to rank Jake Paul as another example of how the sport is changing dramatically in a short period.

Jake has no business being ranked in the top 15 by the WBC, as even if he destroys Tommy Fury, a celebrity boxer, he will have done nothing to earn a ranking.

Sadly, Riakporhe has a chilling message to the younger fighters that are coming into the sport about what they must do to rise to the top. It’s no longer enough to be excellent like in the past.

Boxing being changed

With the way boxing is evolving due to the Youtubers & social media influencers being permitted to invade the sport and given rankings, to get to the top, one must have a strong social media presence.

A perfect example of that is Ryan Garcia, a fighter that has risen to the top thanks to his 9 million followers on Instagram and a huge following on Youtube.

If Ryan had to actually earn the fight against Tank Davis instead of getting it due to his huge Instagram following, it would never happen because he lacks the talent to defeat the contenders that he would need to beat to get that shot.

If Ryan had to fight someone like Shakur Stevenson, Frank Martin, or Vasyl Lomachenko to get a fight with Tank Davis, he would be weeded out and exposed.

Ryan has done very little in his boxing career, but he’s now on the verge of getting a massive money fight against Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis without ever fighting anyone to earn the shot.

How did Ryan get that shot? He did it with his popularity on Instagram, with him posting frequent photos of himself and a few words attached to the pictures.

“Listen, I don’t know what’s going on anymore. It’s crazy how boxing has changed so much in a small period of time. It’s crazy; I read that today, and I think it’s changed the whole dynamics of the sport,” said Richard Riakporhe to iFL TV when asked about his thoughts on the WBC planning to give YouTuber Jake Paul a top 15 rankings at cruiserweight if he successfully defeats 8-0 domestic-level fighter Tommy Fury on February 26th.

YouTube video

Chilling message

“Soon, it’s not going to be how good you are as a fighter. It’s all going to be based on popularity. So all those young aspiring boxers that are watching this interview, you’re going to need to take a lot of notes because things are going to be different.

“For you to come up in this game, it’s going to take a lot more. It’s going to take not just boxing skills, but a whole flipping package, and a lot of people are sensing that now,” Riakporhe conditioned, hinting that boxers will now need to have a strong social media presence to sell themselves, be interviewed frequently, and have an act/persona to give off for marketing purposes

“Trust me, watch boxing from now to the next five years, it’s going to be so much different than what it was and how we perceive it to be, and a lot of people are going to be forgotten about very quickly and unfortunately like solid champions. It’s going to be all about popularity,” said Riakporhe in sending a dire message for the sport.