Mairis Briedis vs Jai Opetaia Preview July 2nd, 2022
IBF Cruiserweight Champion Mairis Briedis of Latvia puts his belt on the line against unbeaten Jai Opetaia of Australia at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Queensland Australia this Saturday, July 2nd. Briedis won the title with a majority decision over Yunier Dorticos in the final of the World Boxing Super Series in September, 2020. Briedis has also held the WBC Diamond Cruiserweight Crown and IBO versions in the past. He last fought in October when he stopped Arthur Mann in the third round. Opetaia was last in action in December when he halted Daniel Russell in the third round. This weekend’s bout will be broadcast on the FITE Network beginning around 5am EST.
Briedis vs Opetaia Betting Odds
- Jai Opetaia +180
- Mairis Briedis -220
The 37-year-old Briedis is a pretty heavy hitter with plenty of skills and climbs through the ropes with an impressive 28-1 record with 20 Ko’s. He has a current knockout percentage of 69 per cent but has stopped just nine of his last 15 opponents and has gone the distance in six of his last eight outings. Briedis enjoyed a fine amateur career and also fought over 70 times as a kick-boxer.
The champion stands 6-feet-1-inch tall with a 75-inch reach and has boxed 155 rounds since making his pro debut in 2012. His biggest wins have been against Dorticos, Marco Huck, Mike Perez, Olanrewaju Durodola and Krzysztof Glowacki and he also stopped heavyweight Manuel Charr back in 2015. His only pro loss came via a majority decision at the hands Oleksandr Usyk in January, 2018 when Usyk was the WBO Cruiserweight boss at the time.
Briedis had won the vacant WBC crown and IBO Title a year earlier when he beat Huck by unanimous decision. However, he gave up the IBO strap as he refused to pay the sanctioning fees. He then defended his WBC belt against Perez before running into Usyk, who of course is now the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO Heavyweight Champ after recently beating Anthony Joshua.
The 26-year-old southpaw Opetaia climbs through the ropes with a perfect mark of 21-0 with 17 Ko’s and obviously carries quite a bit of power in his punches with a current knockout ratio of 81 per cent. However, he’s fought limited opposition up to now and will be taking a big step up in class when he meets Briedis. His biggest wins have been over Daniel Ammann, Frankie Lopez, Kurtis Pegoraro, Mark Flanagan and Benjamin Kelleher.
Opetaia is a good-sized cruiserweight as he stands 6-feet-3-inches tall with a 76-inch reach which gives him a two-inch height advantage over Briedis and a one-inch edge in reach. He’s boxed 85 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.
Briedis isn’t the quickest cruiserweight out there but he has a lot of experience to go with his skills and power. He also owns a sturdy chin. He’s not naturally aggressive either and often looks pedestrian in the ring but Opetaia has basically been boxing domestic-level opponents up to now and is stepping up in class. It might not be the most entertaining fight unless Opetaia lets his hands go and forces Briedis to answer back. Briedis is 11 years older but should still have enough left in the tank to hold onto his belt.
Briedis has more experience and better boxing skills.
Play: Briedis -220 @ BetOnline.ag
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