Viddal Riley has his sights set on becoming a world champion by the age of 28, but the cruiserweight is happy to take the well-trodden, traditional path to the top.
Having gone nearly two years without stepping into the ring, Riley is preparing for his fourth outing of this year when he takes on Ross McGuigan on the undercard of Natasha Jonas’ unification title clash with Marie Eve Dicare in Manchester on November 12, live on Sky Sports.
Now 6-0 (3) following his devastating first-round stoppage of Jone Volau in June, Riley believes he is on track to achieve that aim. However, he knows there is no quick route to the top.
“I’ve always said to myself I want to be world champion by the time I’m 28,” Riley told Sky Sports. “Hopefully that’s how it goes, but that’s something I’ve said from when I was a teen.
“I feel like I’m en route to do that and can still do that, but we know how the game is and we take it as it comes.
“You can’t cheat at this game – I know that. There are certain steps you have to fulfil; the team know it and I know it.
“So, we move that way and take each step towards the final destination which is to finally be world champion.”
Assuming he comes through this month’s six-rounder with McGuigan with another one in the win column, Riley is looking at one more contest over a similar distance before stepping up the number of rounds with the aim of fighting for a title of some description next year.
Riley has attracted the attention of YouTube star turned boxer Jake Paul, who identified the Londoner with his own significant social media following as a potential future opponent when speaking to Sky Sports ahead of his victory over MMA icon Anderson Silva.
Riley, who has served as boxing trainer for another YouTuber, KSI, is determined not to be distracted by anything which takes away focus from achieving his long-held world title aims, though.
“It’s a privilege to be relevant enough to be mentioned,” Riley said. “A lot of people are screaming and dying to be mentioned and even do dumb stuff to get mentioned.
“The fact I just live, breathe, and do what I’m doing, and people want to talk about me, I’m blessed aren’t I?
“There are certain things in the game I have to achieve because I’ve been told I could achieve them from the beginning.
“It’s more to me than money; you can’t say it’s not about money because no one is getting banged in their face for free, but there is something bigger than that.”
The immediate challenge is to overcome a fellow unbeaten fighter in McGuigan a week on Saturday.
And while he is not expecting another quick stoppage as was the case against Volau, Riley has vowed to seize any chance for an early conclusion which comes.
“You can’t always do 51 seconds, but if the opportunity presents itself like it did in June, then I’ll take it,” Riley said.
“If not, you win anyway however many rounds it goes…and we look good doing it, that’s the most important thing.”