Opetaia's words for Wilson ahead of title fight

January 31, 2023 02:49 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
Follow us on Google News:

Jai Opetaia, Australia's only current male boxing world champion, has a warning for Liam Wilson.

Wilson will fight overwhelming Mexican favourite Emanuel Navarrete for the vacant WBO super featherweight title in Phoenix on Saturday (AEDT).

Opetaia was written off too before his stoic defeat of Latvian champion Mairis Briedis earned him the IBF and The Ring cruiserweight belts on the Gold Coast last year. 

With George Kambosos relinquishing his belts last year and Tim Tszyu's title shot delayed until March it means Opetaia remains the only current Australian male boxing world champion.

Wilson can change that though and Opetaia is backing his former amateur mate, on one condition. 

"If he's prepared for it then he's got it, but if not it'll be a tough day at the office," Jai Opetaia told AAP.

"Champions are born in the gym so I hope he's done the hard work to earn it."

He and Wilson, who has been based in Washington for eight weeks preparing to fight, travelled to Kazakhstan together for an amateur world championship and share a mutual respect.

"But we've never sparred," Opetaia smiled.

"He weighs about the same as my left leg."

Gold Coast-based Opetaia hopes Wilson brings the strap back to Queensland and earns a well-deserved profile boost, much like the cruiserweight is striving for himself.

Opetaia's belts were won the hard way, the Sydney product breaking his jaw twice but still beating Briedis over 12 bloody rounds.

His jaw is healed but Opetaia will undergo minor shoulder surgery in coming weeks and is eyeing a first defence against Polish contender Mateusz Masternak in June.

But many others have called the 27-year-old out, something that's beginning to irk Opetaia.

"They're at the back end (of their careers) but I'm just about to hit my prime," he said.

"They're really underestimating me; I am a whole better fighter than I was in my title fight."

A defence on home soil is the ideal outcome but Opetaia can see the benefit of fighting in the United Kingdom, or even Masternak's backyard.

"It's a business and I'll fight wherever; I'd love to go over to England and put some respect on my name," he said.

"They throw my name around like I'm some bum and it's eating me up to be honest.

"I want to go over there and let them know that if they call me out, there's consequences."


The content, including but not limited to any articles, news, quotes, information, data, text, reports, ratings, opinions, images, photos, graphics, graphs, charts, animations and video (Content) is a service of Kalkine Media Pty Ltd (Kalkine Media, we or us), ACN 629 651 672 and is available for personal and non-commercial use only. The principal purpose of the Content is to educate and inform. The Content does not contain or imply any recommendation or opinion intended to influence your financial decisions and must not be relied upon by you as such. Some of the Content on this website may be sponsored/non-sponsored, as applicable, but is NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold the stocks of the company(s) or engage in any investment activity under discussion. Kalkine Media is neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice through this platform. Users should make their own enquiries about any investments and Kalkine Media strongly suggests the users to seek advice from a financial adviser, stockbroker or other professional (including taxation and legal advice), as necessary. Kalkine Media hereby disclaims any and all the liabilities to any user for any direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental or other consequential damages arising from any use of the Content on this website, which is provided without warranties. The views expressed in the Content by the guests, if any, are their own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Kalkine Media. Some of the images/music that may be used on this website are copyright to their respective owner(s). Kalkine Media does not claim ownership of any of the pictures displayed/music used on this website unless stated otherwise. The images/music that may be used on this website are taken from various sources on the internet, including paid subscriptions or are believed to be in public domain. We have used reasonable efforts to accredit the source wherever it was indicated as or found to be necessary.

Top ASX Listed Companies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. OK