Opetaia & Hrgovic Stay Undefeated; Kabayel Scores Upset

Jai Opetaia Leads Undercard Fighters With Impressive Knockout

Anthony Joshua vs Otto Wallin Fight Card Winners
Anthony Joshua vs Otto Wallin Fight Card Winners

Jai Opetaia, Frank Sanchez, Filip Hrgovic, & Agit Kabayel Score Impressive Stoppages

Cruiserweight Jai Opetaia (24-0, 18KO) ended the night early for Ellis Zorro (17-1, 7KO) with one big shot.

After being stripped of the IBF title, Opetaia took out frustration on Zorro with a straight left hand from the opening bell. It was apparent the fight wasn’t going to last long as the Aussie was having success early.

Still in the first round, Opetaia feinted with a jab to the body before landing a crushing left hand that turned out the lights for Zorro. The Brit was stretched across the bottom rope, and the referee waved off the fight.

Opetaia dubbed the number one cruiserweight in the sport after defeating Mairis Briedis in July 2022. He was stripped of the title for not rematching Briedis, and the IBF’s reluctance to sanction this bout.

It will be interesting to see if his team is willing to regain the title, or challenge one of the other champions in the division.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has hinted at taking his new prize jewel to the heavyweight division. However, he would prefer Opetaia to capture the undisputed crown at cruiserweight first.


Heavyweight Agit Kabayel (24-0,16KO) scored the first upset of the night by stopping top-rated contender “Lion” Arslanbek Makhmudov (18-1, 17KO)

Kabayel came with a great game-plan and worked it to perfection throughout the entire fight. He first showed serious ring IQ by moving to the opposite side of Makhmudov’s powerful right hand.

Next, the German went to work with combination puches, taking advantage of the slower and off-balance Makhmudov. With growing confidence, Kayabel began taming the Lion with a brutal body attack.

The footwork, hand speed, defense, ring generalship, and ring IQ of Kabayel were too much for Makhmudov, who started to wilt from body shots.

In round four, Kabayel turned up the pressure and put the Russan on the canvas. Like a shark that smelled blood in the water, he continued to attack the soft mid-section of his opponent before putting Makhmudov on the canvas for good.

The referee ignored giving a count and put an end to the beating. It was a big win for Kabayel, who will see a huge boost in the rankings.


Top IBF heavyweight contender Filip “El Animal” Hrgovic (17-0, 14KO) made easy work of overmatched opponent Mark De Mori (41-3-2, 32KO).

El Animal barely broke a sweat in this fight as he made a statement from the opening bell by landing a hard right hands that put De Mori on one knee. The beating continued after the Croatian landed more right hands against the retreating Australian.

The referee finally put an end to the fight, when De Mori’s corner threw in the towel after realizing their fighter’s body language was calling for a stoppage.

Hrgovic needed to make a statement after many believed he should have lost against Zhilei Zhang in August 2022. During the post-fight interview, El Animal wasted no time in calling for the top guys while claiming top contender Jared Anderson would be breakfast!


In a heavyweight showdown on the big stage, Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sanchez (25-0, 18KO) brutally stopped Junior Fa (20-3, 11KO) after a slow start.
The Cuban Flash started the fight at an incredibly slow pace, and only used the jab while fighting going backward. Some fans believe Fa is shell-shocked from being knocked out by Lucas Browne in June 2022.

As the fight continued, Fa’s confidence was growing with every passing round. The New Zealander kept Sanchez on the back foot with a thudding jab and landed some solid right hands.

In round six, Sanchez finally woke up! He landed a perfect right hand that planted Fa on the canvas at the end of the round. It was the beginning of the end. The Cuban scored two more knockdowns in round seven with more punishing right hands, forcing the referee to stop the fight.

Featured Article: Opetaia On Facing Zorro: “I’m Ready For 12 Rounds Of War”

Garrisson Bland - Head of Public Relations/Senior Journalist. Garrisson is the Head of Public relations for 3kingsboxing.com as well as a senior writer. He is also the host of YouTube boxing show "Truth And Facts Sports Talk."