Mairis Briedis (28-1, 20 KOs) will defend her IBF and Ring Magazine World Cruiserweight titles against mandatory undefeated Jai Opetaia (21-0, 17 KOs) on Wednesday, July 2 at the Center Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition in Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia.
Briedis won the IBF and Ring Magazine World Title by defeating Yuniel Dorticos in the September 2020 World Super Boxing Championship final, becoming a three-time world champion and cementing her place. her as a star weight class and number one Cruiser on the planet.
After successfully defending his belt against German rival Artur Mann in Riga in October 2021, the 37-year-old will now take to the field to face fast-rising Australian star Opetaia at home. The fight was originally scheduled for April 6 but was pushed back after Briedis contracted Covid.
“I look forward to coming to Australia to defend my World Title,” said Briedis. “I know my opponent is a good fighter. He is an undefeated nampaw and has had a very good amateur career. As always, I will give my all in training camp and I will go to Australia to show my best boxing. I hope Jai and I can bring a great boxing show to the fans. ”
Sydney-born Nampaw Optetai is a decorated amateur athlete who won bronze at the 2012 World Youth Championships and represented Australia at the 2012 Olympics and 2014 Commonwealth Games. After his amateur success, the 26-year-old made his professional debut in 2015 and earned the Briedis Cruiserweight title with an impressive 21-win streak.
“Dreams come true to win the World Championship and most of all it’s happening right here on the Gold Coast, where it’s brilliant,” said Opetaia. “I’m a resident of Surfers Paradise so you can’t get more Gold Coast than that. This is my chance to declare myself to the world. I want to bring back another World Title for Queensland just like Jeff Horn did. ”
The bout, which will be cheered by Dean Lonergan for Events D and L in conjunction with Wasserman Boxing, will be the first World title fight to be held in Australia since Jeff Horn defended the crown against Gary Corcoran just over 5 years ago in Brisbane.
“This will be a great occasion and I applaud Queensland Tourism Events, Gold Coast Grand Events and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate for supporting them behind what will be a very special event.” Lonergan said.
“We remember that fight (Horn-Corcoran) and also the incredible day when ‘The Hornet’ beat Manny Pacquiao to win the World Championship at Suncorp Stadium in 2017.
“We are now right behind Jai to achieve his dream and take home another World title for Queensland and on his pitch on the Gold Coast.”
Despite the optimism of his Australian counterpart, Briedis promoter Kalle Sauerland is confident that the champion will return to Latvia with the belt.
“Mairis Briedis is a three-time world champion who has consistently fought the best boxers out there,” Sauerland said. “He came to Australia as World Champion and will leave as World Champion. His knocking prowess is sensational but so is his technique, strength and finishing ability. It’s time for Mairis to prove once again why he’s the number one Cruiserweight on the planet. ”
This event is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on It’s Live! In the Queensland events calendar.