Mairis Briedis Wants Vengeance In Rematch With Jai Opetaia

Can Mairis Briedis Regain the IBF Cruiserweight Title?

Mairis Briedis seeks vengeance in Jai Opetaia rematch
Mairis Briedis seeks vengeance in Jai Opetaia rematch | credit: Twitter, Instagram

Mairis Briedis to Seek Redemption in Jai Opetaia Rematch


Three-time cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis (28-2, 20 KOs) is a proud warrior. He’s also a fighter motivated by revenge as he heads into his February 17 rematch against Jai Opetaia (24-0, 19 KOs) for the vacant IBF cruiserweight title in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

The process to make this fight a reality was quite the ordeal. In July 2022, Opetaia won the IBF title from Briedis by unanimous decision. But in that contest, Opetaia suffered a broken jaw. As a result, he was out of action for over a year.

In August 2023, the IBF ordered a fight between the two combatants. But the sanctioning body had an about-face and allowed Opetaia a voluntary title defense against Jordan Thompson, a contest where Opetaia won by third-round stoppage.

A rematch between Opetaia and Briedis was in play for December 23 in Saudi Arabia. However, Briedis was injured and unable to fight on that date.

With Briedis injured, Opetaia signed to fight Ellis Zorro. But despite Briedis’ injury, the IBF threatened to strip Opetaia of the belt for refusing to fight the former champion. Feeling that he had no other options, the native of Australia vacated the title.

CAN THINGS CHANGE?

After all that mess, they will finally meet. Briedis felt he had an off-night during their first outing. Opetaia used his jab, footwork, and speed to box the Latvian.

This time around, the key for Briedis is finding a way to slow Opetaia down. He must get inside and pound the body of the Australian. At times, Opetaia can be overaggressive and will leave himself open. Briedis can catch Opetaia with power punches whenever he’s in attack mode.

Briedis recently celebrated his thirty-ninth birthday. Despite his advanced age, he feels there’s something left in the tank. He plans to prove it again in the rematch against Opetaia and become a four-time cruiserweight world champion.

Featured Article: Alycia Baumgardner’s Message To Boxing Fans: “Not Guilty!”

About Mike W.2019 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.