Opetaia wants super card for title defence

November 29, 2022 04:44 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Jai Opetaia has called for Australia's boxing promoters to put aside their egos and create a domestic super card for his world title defence.

The IBF and The Ring cruiserweight champion will resume full training in December, four months after incredibly beating Latvian favourite Mairis Briedis despite breaking his jaw twice.

A host of names have been floated for Opetaia's (22-0) first defence as early as March next year, Polish veteran Mateusz Masternak added after beating Australian Jason Whateley to earn number one contender status.

But the 27-year-old - Australia's only current male world boxing champion - is more interested in who he'll share the card with.

"They have thrown a few names around but to be honest I don't give a f***," he told AAP.

"There's talk about going to England, going overseas, because Australia doesn't generate as much money.

"But why can't we? If we all get around each other we can take over the whole boxing scene."

Opetaia is thinking big, urging promoters to work together to harness the full potential of Australia's burgeoning boxing scene.

He's dreaming of a card featuring former world champion George Kambosos Jr, contenders Tim Tszyu, Jason and Andrew Moloney and heavyweight talent Justis Huni.

"Who's not going to watch that? It'd be the biggest pay per view fight night," Opetaia said.

"You see all the bests fighters in England all fighting on the same card.

"Everyone watches those fights but in Australia, with so many different promoters and managers that don't get along, fighters are being held back from reaching their full potential.

"It is a bit shit, because their egos get involved.

"It should be about the fighters and I'm willing to make sacrifices to become a part of an era that has made history."

It's been an eventful wait for Opetaia, who feared he would need to re-break his jaw and go under the knife again due to persistent infection.

Surgery to remove his wisdom teeth solved the issue though, a relief after he spent four months eating through a thick straw.

Two alcohol-related offences have also come since his Gold Coast triumph, Opetaia saying he had to "live and learn".

"It has been a rollercoaster to get back to the ring but I'm still here, still hungry and looking for more belts," he added.

"The broken jaw, that's nothing compared to the sacrifices I've made to get where I am.

"There's seven billion people in the world and I'm the No.1 cruiserweight.

"To say it out loud is nice, but I want more."


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