Jai Opetaia vs Ellis Zorro Preview December 23rd, 2023
Unbeaten Lineal Cruiserweight Champion Jai Opetaia of Australia defends his title for the second time when he takes on England’s undefeated Ellis Zorro in Saudi Arabia this Saturday, December 23rd. Opetaia won the IBF and Lineal Title via a unanimous decision over Mairis Briedis in a slugfest in July 2022 and defended them by stopping Jordan Thompson in the fourth round in September. Zorro last fought in October when he beat Luca D’Ortenzi by a 10-round unanimous decision to defend WBO European Cruiserweight Crown. Zorro won the vacant belt in his previous fight in May when he stopped Hosea Burton in the seventh round. The 12-round fight can be seen live on DAZN pay per view in most nations while those in the UK and Ireland can also pick it up on TNT Sports Box Office.
**Watch live on DAZN this Saturday. Your first month is free.
Opetaia vs Zorro Betting Odds
- Ellis Zorro +1200
- Jai Opetaia -3300
The 28-year-old southpaw Opetaia climbs through the ropes with a perfect mark of 23-0 with 18 Ko’s and obviously carries quite a bit of power in his punches with a current knockout ratio of 78.3 per cent. However other than Briedis, he’s fought limited opposition up to now as his biggest wins were over the likes of Jordan Thompson, Daniel Ammann, Frankie Lopez, Kurtis Pegoraro, Mark Flanagan and Benjamin Kelleher.
Opetaia is a good-sized cruiserweight as he stands 6-feet-2-inches tall with a 76-inch reach and has boxed 101 rounds since making his pro debut in 2015 following a pretty successful amateur career. Opetaia represented his homeland at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England as a heavyweight but was edged in his first bout.
He was an Australian National Champion in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and won a gold medal at the 2011 World Junior Championships. He won gold at the 2012 Oceanian Olympic Qualifier as well as bronze at the 2012 World Youth Championships and boxed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Since turning pro he’s won the vacant Australia-New South Wales State Heavyweight Title along with the vacant OPBF, Australian, WBO Global, WBO Asia Pacific, WBA Oceania, IBF Pan Pacific, IBF Asia Oceania, and IBF Youth Cruiserweight Belts.
As for the 31-year-old Zorro, the WBO European Champion hails from London and makes the ring walk with a perfect record of 17-0 with 7 Ko’s. He lacks power though as his current knockout ratio clocks in at 41.2 per cent and he’s gone the distance in five of his last six fights. He’s reportedly 6-feet-1-inch tall with a 75-inch reach which means he gives up an inch in height and reach to the champion. Zorro made his pro debut in 2017 and has 70 rounds of experience under his belt.
Just seven of his 17 opponents have entered the ring with a winning record and they’ve all basically been domestic-level fighters and he’s never fought outside of England. His last six opponents have had winning records and came into the ring with a combined mark of 80-13. The IBF threatened to strip Opetaia of their title for fighting Zorro as the organization is demanding that he gives Mairis Briedis a rematch next. however, Briedis is unable to fight at the moment and said he has no problem with Opetaia meeting Zorro first. The IBF gave Opetia an exemption to fight Jordan Thompson in September but don’t want to exempt him again against Zorro. Therefore Opetaia decided to vacate the title. Opetaia and Briedis have reportedly agreed to fight in March or April, 2024.
Opetaia suffered a jaw injury in his fight against Briedis and was out of action for over a year but had no problem with Jordan Thompson as he dominated the fight and displayed his power. Zorro doesn’t have the power to keep the champion off of him and I believe he’ll basically suffer the same fate as his fellow countryman Thompson as he’ll be stopped. Opetaia should leave the ring with a win and his lineal title but will no longer be the IBF World Champion.
Opetaia has a big edge in power.
Play: Opetaia -3300 @ BetOnline.ag
Check out my recent boxing betting picks to see my current form.