Opetaia fuelled by IBF frustrations in Saudi Arabia
December 18 2023
Aussie Cruiser king faces Zorro on blockbuster 'Day of Reckoning' card - live on DAZN PPV
All roads lead to Jai Opetaia. That is the stern warning from the ‘King of the Cruiserweights’ himself as he prepares to remind the world this Saturday that he is the top dog in the division despite having to give up his IBF title.
The Australian is just six days away from his ‘Day of Reckoning‘ with Ellis Zorro in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – live worldwide on DAZN PPV.
But the No.1 ranked fighter and reigning Ring Magazine world champion will be without the IBF crown having been forced to vacate the belt earlier today.
With mandatory rival Mairis Briedis currently injured, a special appeal was requested by Matchroom, Tasman Fighters, Queensberry and Wasserman Boxing to the IBF to allow Opetaia to defend his crown against Britain’s Zorro this weekend.
But with the IBF denying Opetaia that opportunity, the Aussie has reluctantly relinquished his championship.
Fired up, Opetaia now vows to do his talking in the ring and showing why he is rated as the best cruiserweight on the planet.
“I’m looking forward to putting on a good show,” Opetaia told Matchroom Boxing.
“I cannot wait to get in the ring. It’s all outside noise and it’s also just fuel on the fire. It makes me want to perform even better. The thing is all roads lead to me. I am the Ring magazine world champion, the number one in the division. I am the king of the cruiserweights.
“We’ve definitely earned our spot on this card, which is the biggest in boxing history. I can’t lie, it’s been a rough journey. It’s been a rollercoaster to get to where we are, but we are here.
“So, I feel like I’m the motivation to all my rivals. I’m working hard. I’m doing what I’ve got to. I’m focused on my own journey, and I’m not worried about them.
“I’m locked in on Ellis Zorro and I’m expecting a solid version of him. He’s going to have to pick it up when he faces me. So, I’m pumped. I’m ready.
I’ve earned my spot here – it didn’t happen by accident. And we just go out and we do what we do.
“We’re just getting started on this journey. We’ve got so much more to achieve in this in this game and we’re flying the Australian and Samoan flags very proudly. I’m honoured to be part of this card and a part of boxing history.”
The ‘Day of Reckoning’ comes after the ‘Battle of the Baddest’, which was held on October 28 during the opening of Riyadh Season 2023, in which Tyson Fury defeated Francis Ngannou.
The fourth edition of Riyadh Season, themed “Big Time,” offers many entertainment options and experiences. It continues to attract visitors from across the globe to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, during the winter months, providing them with the opportunity to partake in thousands of concerts, exhibitions, and other distinctive entertainment events. Notable celebrities and prominent international brands contribute to the grandeur of this occasion.
Tickets for events and experiences in the zone can be reserved through the WeBook application by accessing the following link.