Jai Opetaia vs Mairis Briedes live press conference, title shot announced, IBF cruiserweight, where will he be, when is the fight, Justis Huni

Australian boxing gun Jai Opetaia’s world title fight against IBF heavyweight champion Mairis Briedis has been stalled but will be delayed for “three or four weeks”.

Defending champion Briedis previously tried to catch the eye of boxer-turned-YouTube star Jake Paul in hopes of nabbing a multimillion-dollar payday, going so far as to get a tattoo of Paul’s name on his thigh.

The fight, which was due to take place on April 6, was due to be officially announced at a press conference on the Gold Coast on Wednesday.

But it was delayed after Briedis contracted Covid-19.

The fight will take place on the Gold Coast, but has yet to be officially set in stone given Briedis’ illness.

Speaking via a pre-recorded message from Latvia, Briedis, 37, said age would not be an issue.

“I feel a lot more confident in my abilities and I feel like I’m 25,” he said. “I will come to Australia to show my best.”

Opetaia responded by saying that “the fact that he talks about his age means he is worried about it”.

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Jai Opetaia punches Ben Kelleher during their Cruiserweight fight at Fortitude Music Hall on October 22, 2020. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Briedis spoke about poisonous snakes and spiders in Australia.

“The Gold Coast, just like other places in Australia, is also home to poisonous spiders, snakes and many different species that you want to avoid but if you were worried about what to expect we wouldn’t go to Australia “, did he declare.

It was a quirky moment and one that left observers frowning.

Opetaia responded by saying he only had to worry about his opponent.

The fight will also be the first world title fight held in Australia since 2017, when Jeff Horn defended his WBO welterweight crown against Gary Corcoran via TKO.

The fight has the potential to make Opetaia a household name in much the same way as Horn and George Kambosos Jr, who became the unified lightweight champion last November.

“This is Jai’s breakthrough fight,” said boxing promoter Dean Lonergan.

“Every fighter has a fight that puts them in the consciousness of boxing fans, and that’s it for Jai.

“I would have liked to have had a few more fights so I could raise his profile, but the opportunity arose and I spoke to Jai and was like, ‘Man, do you want to take this? And he grabbed it with both hands and said, ‘Whatever you do, bring that fight to me and bring it to Australia.’

Opetaia has been out of action since his last fight in October 2020, when the 26-year-old underwent surgery to repair a broken hand after battling with the injury for five years.


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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 22: Jai Opetaia and Justis Huni pose after winning their fights at Fortitude Music Hall on October 22, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

The Central Coast southpaw holds an impressive 20-0 record, with 16 of those wins coming via KO/TKO finish.

He also holds the honor of being the youngest Australian boxer to compete in the Olympics, as he was just 16 when he competed at the London 2012 Games.

However, Briedis will undoubtedly be the biggest task of his career, with the 37-year-old also holding an impressive 28-1 record.

Also on the card will be Australian heavyweight champion Justis Huni, who is fighting for the first time since beating rugby league great Paul Gallen in June last year.

Huni was due to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, but was forced to pull out as he needed surgery to repair a broken hand, an injury he aggravated in Gallen’s fight having already suffered it during of his fight against Christian Tsoye only a month earlier.

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