The Sport Effect

Jai Opetaia to fight IBF world champion Mairis Briedis

Jai Opetaia is set to problem for the very first significant world title fight held in Australia since Jeff Horn defeated Manny Pacquiao in entrance of fifty one,000 delirious lovers.

The IBF has mandated Central Coast’s Opetaia to fight cruiserweight winner Mairis Briedis by April 14, 2022, nonetheless negotiations are currently being held to stage the fight in late January-early February.

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Australian boxer Jai Opetaia.Resource: Information Corp Australia

Briedis defends his belt in an optional defence against Artur Mann in his indigenous Latvia this weekend, acquiring not fought for a year because of to Covid-19 limitations.

Even so, even if Mann were being to pull off a monumental upset, the IBF have issued a statement confirming the undefeated Opetaia (20-, 16KO) will facial area the winner.

“This is what I have been doing the job in direction of for my entire lifestyle, I’m lastly heading to tick the box,” Opetaia mentioned.

“People are thrilled about receiving a world title shot. But I’m heading in there to get, not just take part.

“I’m bringing the belt household.

“Hopefully that fight can happen in Sydney, with the Covid things heading on, the closer to household the improved.”

Opetaia’s promoter Dean Lonergan – who staged the Horn vs Pacquiao function at Suncorp Stadium in 2017 – is self-assured of landing the bout in this article.

Jeff Horn (2nd R) of Australia celebrates beating Manny Pacquiao (L).Resource: Getty Images

“Our original conversations with Briedis’ promoter Wasserman implies they would be pleased to occur to Australia if all the problems are suitable.

“Team Opetaia, myself and Fox Sports activities all want that fight in Australia as nicely. We haven’t experienced a significant world title fight in Australia since Jeff Horn versus Manny Pacquiao and then Horn defended his title in Brisbane against Gary Corcoran.

“We assume to be combating Briedis. We’re searching at late January or early February, but it has to accommodate Wasserman and Briedis.

“Our working experience with the Manny Pacquiao fight was that it took months and months to get more than the line so it can take tolerance.”

Briedis (27-1, 19KO) was meant to protect his belt against IBF No. two Michal Cieslak, but the Polish fighter is mired in a contractual wrangle in between two promoters and has not been equipped to protected a release to fight.

Opetaia, the No. three, and his team then lobbied to grow to be the required challenger and the IBF has now confirmed he is to be granted a title shot “no later on than April 14” following year.

Jai Opetaia punches Ben Kelleher.Resource: Getty Images

Obtaining recovered effectively from a hand personal injury that experienced hampered his profession for 5 several years, 26-year-outdated Opetaia has moved camp to the Gold Coast

“I experienced overlooked what it was like to have a hand feel this good, every time I have sparred there is no swelling,” Opetaia mentioned.

“Before this, when I would spar I would finish up sparring on a single hand or halting it altogether simply because of the throbbing and soreness, but now it is the best it has at any time been.”

Opetaia is scheduling to have a tune-up fight in December ahead of the anticipated Briedis showdown, and warned: “By the time that fight will come about I will be the fittest I have at any time been.

“Just talking about that world title fight in the last two times, my instruction has gone to a new level of intensity. I am pushing my physique to its limits.”