Jai Opetaia is all set to showcase the first defense of his esteemed IBF and Ring Magazine Cruiserweight World Titles. The big night pits him against Jordan Thompson on Saturday, September 30 at OVO Arena Wembley. This isn’t just about Opetaia and Thompson; the event also features IBF Super-Bantamweight sovereign Ellie Scotney, who will embark on the initial defense of her World Title, facing Laura Soledad Griffa. The entire event will be broadcast live worldwide on DAZN.
With a resounding performance back in Queensland, Australia in July 2022, Opetaia (22-0, 17 KOs) masterfully seized the IBF and Ring Magazine World Cruiserweight Titles from Mairis Briedis. He astonished the audience with his courage, even managing to break his jaw in both the second and concluding rounds.
A remarkable athlete aged 28, Opetaia’s victory took his unbeaten record to 22 fights in professional boxing. He achieved World Title accolades at his very first try, after bidding farewell to a shimmering amateur phase that included a gold medal at the 2011 World Junior Championships. His impressive resume also highlights his distinction as the youngest Australian Olympian boxer, representing his homeland at the 2012 Games in London.
The ring will again summon him to London on Saturday, where he’ll place his prestigious hardware at risk against Manchester’s unbeaten contender Thompson (15-0, 12 KOs). Thompson is coming off a commanding sixth-round TKO triumph over Luke Watkins at Cardiff International Arena.
Thompson, a 6’7″ dynamo trained by Tony Sims, has a flawless record of five wins since inking a multi-fight deal with Eddie Hearn in June 2021. His accolades include the IBF European Title, which he acquired after defeating Vasil Ducar in August 2022.
Opetaia expressed confidently, “I’m on top of the world. We’re prepped and set to battle. His height is his primary advantage, but I feel it’s his sole edge. He may have some power from his reach, but I’ve faced challenges like this. This sport is my life. Every single day, I live for it.
Breidis? He’s yesterday’s news. I’ve set my sights on a fresh target now. September 30 is the day. I’m stepping into the ring, and my preparation has been impeccable. Honestly, it’s tough to judge him based on his previous fights. Has he ever faced any real competition? We’ll definitely see on September 30.”
Thompson, the challenger, remarked, “I’m more about my game than obsessing over my opponent. We’re well-prepared, and Tony’s done his research. The ultimate test is on the fight night. I save my energy for when it counts. And trust me, I’m primed for that moment.
There’s no need for me to fully engage until the fight. Engaging with fans and media is significant, but the real me? You’ll see that transformation during the fight. Some say I’ve got nothing at stake, but in reality, everything’s on the line here.
I’m driven by a relentless desire to win. I believe in my abilities wholeheartedly. It’s about keeping cool, especially when the stakes are high. A clear mind is my greatest asset, especially when challenges arise.
Many argue this fight is a significant leap for me. But, I see it differently. Breidis? He’s a seasoned fighter, but I think his prime has passed. He secured his victory, no doubt. But facing someone like Jordan Thompson? That’s a challenge in itself. And that, I guarantee.”
In addition, Catford’s boxing royalty Scotney (7-0) is set to return to her crowning venue after comfortably defeating Australia’s former champion Cherneka Johnson in June. Meanwhile, Argentina’s Griffa (20-8, 1 KO) gears up for another crack at the IBF Super-Bantamweight title, fighting out of Buenos Aires, having also contended for other renowned titles.
The event also introduces some intriguing matchups such as Dangerous Gravesend Cruiserweight Cheavon Clarke (6-0, 5 KOs) getting his first title chance and Rhiannon Dixon (8-0, 1 KO) meeting Katherina Thanderz (16-1, 2 KOs) for the vacant EBU European Lightweight crown.
Lastly, promising fighters George Liddard (4-0, 3 KOs) and Maiseyrose Courtney (4-0), who recently triumphed at The O2 in London, as well as Super-Flyweight Shannon Ryan (5-0), are eager to dazzle the audience, while Middleweight Jimmy Sains will make his professional debut
“We’re fully prepared, and we’ve rightfully earned our place; I’m thrilled about it. My goal is to gain admiration for both my squad and my nation—I’m all in.
“Recovery took a while and, indeed, a few elements were unpredictable when I was returning to the ring. However, the moment has arrived. We’ve matured, both outside and inside the ring, and I’m keen to demonstrate this on Saturday evening.
“We also have the ability to adjust to various techniques. Boxing has been a part of my life forever, and I’ve worked for this—it’s not random. So, we’ll do it again on Saturday night.
“My aspiration is to secure all the Cruiserweight championships. I’m securing a victory in this fight, whatever the method.”
“Planning time was virtually nonexistent for this, improvisation was crucial, but my belief in my capabilities and potential is unwavering, and I’m buzzing with excitement to validate, to the globe and to myself, that I possess the talent to rise as a World Champion. This is merely a new segment of the journey, an additional milestone, and we’re all set to showcase.
“Tony Sims is a man of his word, he can vouch for the rigorous efforts and the compromises I’ve encountered, the transformations I’ve undergone. Every entrance to the gym makes me a refined version of myself—I’m absorbent. The dedication level in the Matchroom gym is unparalleled. Sharing the event with Maisey, George, and Jimmy is thrilling, and their thoughts resonate with mine, and it’ll be evident on Saturday evening.
“I can adjust my fighting style as needed, a fact evidenced by my previous fights. I have multiple strategies and approaches to secure victory, and we’ve trained for all contingencies—we are set and ready to do whatever necessary when the time comes.
“There’s no room for doubts; I’m profoundly favored, and I’m eager to claim my destiny this Saturday night. Everyone understands the requisites of boxing and the path to World Championship—I’m aiming to strip him of the belts, accomplishing it through a knockout.”
Weigh In Results / Full Fight Card
Jai Opetaia (198.6 lbs) – Jordan Thompson (198.9 lbs)
Cheavon Clarke (198.3 lbs) – Vasil Ducar (199.4 lbs)
Jimmy Sains (162.3 lbs) – Bartlomiej Stryczeck (162 lbs)
Rhiannon Dixon (134.4 lbs) – Katharina Thanderz (134.2 lbs)
Ellie Scotney (121.6 lbs) – Laura Soledad Griffa (120.5 lbs)
George Liddard (162.6 lbs) – Peter Kramer (160.5 lbs)
Ibraheem Sulaimaan (135.8 lbs) – Joshua Ocampo (133.6 lbs)
Shannon Ryan (115.1 lbs) – Xexia Jorneac (113.7 lbs)
Maiseyrose Courtney (114.2 lbs) – Martina Bernile (113.1 lbs)