Home Boxing News Jai Opetaia and Jordan Thompson face-to-face at Kensington Boxing Club

Jai Opetaia and Jordan Thompson face-to-face at Kensington Boxing Club

Photo By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing.

Jai Opetaia and Jordan Thompson shared an intense face off during today’s Media Workout at the Kensington Boxing Club in London as the pair met in person for the first time ahead of their huge showdown for the IBF and Ring Magazine Cruiserweight World Titles at the OVO Arena Wembley this Saturday September 30, shown live worldwide on DAZN.

The undefeated pair headline a huge World Title double-header this weekend that also sees undefeated IBF Super-Bantamweight World Champion Ellie Scotney put her World Title on the line against Argentina’s Laura Soledad Griffa, while rising Cruiserweight contender Cheavon Clarke meets former Thompson opponent Vasil Ducer for the IBF International Title.

Australia’s Opetaia (22-0 17 KOs) wrestled the IBF and Ring Magazine World Cruiserweight Titles away from Mairis Briedis on home turf with an outstanding display in Queensland in July 2022, outboxing the Latvian with a show of skill mixed with guts after breaking his jaw in both the second and final rounds.

Manchester’s Thompson (15-0, 12 KOs), trained by Tony Sims at the Matchroom Boxing Elite Gym in Brentwood, Essex, heads into his first shot at world honours on the back of a dominating sixth-round TKO win over Swindon’s Luke Watkins at the Cardiff International Arena back in April.

“I’m feeling good man;” said Opetaia. “Almost there. The hard work is done and we’re ready to go to war. He’s tall, that’s his main strength. I feel like that’s his only strength. He generates a bit of power with that range but I’ve been here before. I live this sport, I live and breathe it every day.

“Breidis is old news. This is the new goal. I’ve got a new goal now. September 30, that is it. I’m going to war, man. I’ve trained so hard, I’ve prepared so fucking well. We’re ready for anything. It’s hard to go off his past fights because he really hasn’t fought anyone. He’s never been tested so we don’t know what he’s like in deep waters but we’ll find out September 30.”

“I don’t really focus on what my opponent is doing too much,” said challenger Thompson. “We’ve done our homework, Tony has done his homework, we know what to expect on fight night. I’m not one to waste my energy, I like to preserve my energy. The only night that matters is Saturday night, fight night. That’s when it matters, that’s when the switch should be flicked. And believe me you, the switch is there to be flicked.

“I haven’t got to lock in until fight night. All of this is important, it’s part of it, the PR and stuff, engaging with the fans. You’ve got to put on a show and play the game, but at the same time the only time you’ll see me switch up is on that fight night. I realise that I have to keep a cool head with all that is on the line. People have said that I don’t have anything to lose, but I don’t think that’s the case – I have everything to lose in this fight.

“I’m going in there with that winning mindset, I’m a winner at the end of the day. I’m a born winner. I’m a born champion. When you believe in your potential like I do, it’s all about going out there and executing it and being calm under the pressure, being calm under the under the lights. Being calm and having a calm mind is the greatest weapon against any sort of opportunity or challenge put before you.

“A lot of people are saying this is a big step up for me. Honestly and truthfully, I flip that script right back on him. I believe this is a big step up for him too. Mairis Breidis, world class operator, but I believe he was past his better years. He did his job though, he went out there and got the win, he did what he had to do. I believe I’m a step up for him, he ain’t ever fought nobody like Jordan Thompson. That I can assure you.”

Opetaia vs. Thompson headlines a huge night of action in Wembley, dangerous Gravesend Cruiserweight Cheavon Clarke (6-0, 5 KOs) gets his first title shot – taking on former Chris Billam-Smith and Jordan Thompson opponent Vasil Ducar (14-6-2, 10 KOs) for the vacant IBF International Title, Warrington’s Rhiannon Dixon (8-0, 1 KO) meets Norway’s World Title challenger Katherina Thanderz (16-1, 2 KOs) for the vacant EBU European Lightweight crown, Catford’s 122lbs queen Ellie Scotney (7-0) puts her IBF World Title on the line against Laura Soledad Griffa (20-8, 1 KO), Billericay Middleweight George Liddard (4-0, 3 KOs) and Eltham Flyweight Maiseyrose Courtney (4-0) have quick turnarounds after picking up wins on the Joshua vs. Helenius undercard at The O2 in London last month, Watford Super-Flyweight Shannon Ryan (5-0) fights for the sixth time as a pro, Birmingham Lightweight Ibraheem Sulaimaan (1-0, 1 KO) looks to go 2-0 and Tony Sims-trained Middleweight Jimmy Sains makes his professional debut.

Limited remaining tickets are available from Stage Front.