Jai Opetaia Returns To Fight Hard-Hitting Jordan Thompson Next!

Opetaia to Make First IBF Belt Defense Against Jordan Thompson

Jai Opetaia vs Jordan Thompson IBF title fight on September 30
Jai Opetaia vs Jordan Thompson IBF title fight on September 30 | Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Jai Opetaia vs Jordan Thompson In England on September 30


Australia’s Jai Opetaia (22-0, 17 KOs) will make the first defense of the IBF cruiserweight title against England’s Jordan “Troublesome” Thompson (15-0, 12 KOs). The bout will occur on September 30 at OVO Wembley Arena in London, England, live on DAZN.

Opetaia captured the IBF title with a unanimous decision victory over Mairis Briedis in July 2022. But due to a multitude of issues, the defending champion has been in the ring since. He took time to recover from a broken jaw suffered in the fight win over Briedis, plus there was a nasty legal battle with his now-former promoter, Dan Lonergan.

It was an ordeal for Opetaia to land an opponent. In June 2023, then-IBF number-one ranked contender Mateusz Masternak withdrew from a scheduled purse bid.

Then, on August 8, IBF number two-ranked cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe pulled out of an ordered purse bid. The IBF also ordered a purse bid for Opetaia to fight a rematch with Briedis, But the sanctioning body ultimately suspended that purse bid.

A BATTLE OF GIANTS

The Aussie will instead fight Thompson, ranked fifth by the IBF and thirteenth by the WBO a cruiserweight. Thompson is coming off a sixth-round stoppage over Luke Watkins in April 2023.

This upcoming bout features two of the tallest fighters in the division. The 6’4” Opetaia is a versatile left-hander who is skilled and athletic. He’s also tough as evidenced by battling through injury against Briedis.

At 6’6”, Thompson is more of the aggressor. He likes to use the jab to set up his attack. With seven of his last eight wins coming by stoppage, the 30-year-old has power in both hands. But despite his size and power, Opetaia represents a major step up in class.

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About Mike W.2017 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.