Video: Jai Opetaia regains title by decision in rematch against Mairis Briedis

Jai Opetaia defeats Mairis Briedis to become two-time world champion in co-feature to Fury vs Usyk live from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Australian Jai Opetaia became a two-time world champion with the victory over Latvia’s Mairis Briedis on Saturday, Saturday, May 18. The old rivals battled it out for the vacant IBF cruiserweight title in the co-feature to Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk live from Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In their first fight in July 2022, the Australian southpaw dethroned the former world champion of Latvia by unanimous decision and claimed his IBF cruiserweight belt. The scheduled for 12 rounds world championship rematch also went the full distance.

Opetaia (25-0, 19 KOs) was in control predominantly through eight-nine rounds. In the later rounds, however, Briedis (28-3, 20 KOs) went all in in hopes to pull the win. In the end, the scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112, all in favor of the Australian boxer.

With the victory by unanimous decision, Sydney’s 28-year-old Jai Opetaia regained the IBF cruiserweight title, remained undefeated and secured the third win since their first fight. Riga’s 39-year-old Mairis Briedis, who hasn’t fought since their first clash due to injury, suffered the second straight defeat.

“Mairis Brieids, I’m honored to share the ring with a champion like that man, “Jai Opetaia said post win. “I watched this guy coming through the cruiserweight rankings. I used to idolize this guy. To be here and share the ring with him… He is a true warrior and I got nothing but respect. Thank you Mairis.”

“He headbutted my nose,” Opetaia said when asked what happened in later rounds that affected the fight. “It’s a bit broken, but we’ll get this fixed. We’ll line the next fight up and we’ll be back soon.”

“He got me a with a few good shots. He is a tough dude. [He] keeps coming forward. I could hear the pain in his punches. I take my hat off to him. Thank you Saudi Arabia for having us.”

When asked who was he looking to fight next, Opetaia said he wanted to face the winner of Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe. The WBO cruiserweight title bout takes place at Selhurst Park Stadium in London on June 15.

“After that, we are going to collect the rest of the belts.”

Get Fury vs Usyk full fight card results.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

Latest News

Leave your comment
Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here