Home Boxing News Mairis Briedis confident of retaining belts against Jai Opetaia

Mairis Briedis confident of retaining belts against Jai Opetaia

Mairis Briedis. Photo credit: World Boxing Super Series

IBF and Ring magazine cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis 28-1 (20) will head down under to defend his belts against mandatory contender Jai Opetaia 21-0 (17) at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Center in Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia on May 11.

The 37-year-old Latvian will be making the second defence of the IBF crown he won against Yuniel Dorticos by majority decision in the final of the Wolrd Boxing Super Series in September 2020. His lone loss was by majority decision to current unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk four years ago.

“I look forward to coming to Australia to defend my world titles,” said Briedis. “I know my opponent is a good boxer. He is a southpaw who is undefeated and who has had a very decent amateur career.

“As always, I will give my all in training camp and I will come to Australia to show my best boxing. I hope me and Jai can put on a great boxing spectacle for the fans.”

Sydney southpaw Opetaia, 26, has gone unbeaten in the pro ranks following a successful amateur career that saw him win bronze at the 2012 Youth World Championships and represent Australia at the 2012 Olympics and 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“It’s a dream come true to get a shot at the world title and on top of that it’s happening right here on the Gold Coast which is brilliant,” said Opetaia.

“I’m a resident in Surfers Paradise so you can’t get any more Gold Coast than that. This is my chance to announce myself to the world. I want to bring home another world title to Queensland just like Jeff Horn did.”

The fight will be promoted by Dean Lonergan for D and L Events in association with Wasserman Boxing. It will be the first world title bout to be held in Australia since Jeff Horn defended his WBO welterweight championship against Gary Corcoran just over five years ago in Brisbane.

“This will be a fantastic occasion and I applaud Tourism Events Queensland, Major Events Gold Coast and Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate for throwing their support behind what will be a very special event,” said Lonergan.

“We remember that fight (Horn-Corcoran) and also that incredible day when ‘The Hornet’ defeated Manny Pacquiao to win the world title at Suncorp Stadium in 2017.

“Now we are getting right behind Jai to achieve his dream and bring home another World Title to Queensland and on his own turf on the Gold Coast.”

Briedis’ promoter Kalle Sauerland is confident the champion will be returning to Latvia with the belts.

“Mairis Briedis is a three-time world champion who has consistently fought the best boxers out there,” said Sauerland.

“He’s coming to Australia as world champion and will be leaving as world champion. His knockout power is sensational but also his technique, his prowess and his finishing abilities. It’s time for Mairis to show once again why he is the number one cruiserweight on the planet.”