Jai Opetaia upsets Mairis Briedis in Australia, with Richard Riakporhe ready to problem new champion – Sky Sports activities

By | May 18, 2023

Jai Opetaia shocked main cruiserweight Mairis Briedis to win the IBF title in Australia; Richard Riakporhe is positioned as the highest contender to problem for that belt
Saturday 2 July 2022 18:07, UK
London’s Richard Riakporhe is properly positioned to problem new champion Jai Opetaia after the Australian beat Mairis Briedis to win the IBF cruiserweight title on Saturday.
Opetaia scored a significant upset when he outpointed Briedis on a unanimous choice on the Gold Coast Conference Centre in Australia.
Latvia’s Briedis had solely misplaced as soon as earlier than in his lengthy profession and that was in a aggressive conflict with Oleksandr Usyk, the good Ukrainian who grew to become an undisputed champion at cruiserweight and is at the moment a unified heavyweight titlist after beating Anthony Joshua.
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Briedis had misplaced the WBC 200lb belt to Usyk however got here again to change into a two-time champion himself. He gained the World Boxing Tremendous Collection in 2020 and was extensively recognised as the highest cruiserweight within the sport.
Opetaia couldn’t boast such a resume. Though an unbeaten skilled and a London 2012 Olympian, he had by no means boxed at this degree as a professional, however he delivered a champion-making efficiency in by far the largest battle he has ever been concerned in.
The tall southpaw beat Briedis on all three judges’ playing cards, profitable 116-112 for each John Basile and Steve Weisfeld and 115-113 for Katsuhiko Nakamura.
Opetaia’s efforts have been all of the extra spectacular because it was later revealed he had suffered a damaged jaw. The Australian withstood an incredible last-ditch assault by Briedis within the closing spherical to return away with a memorable victory.
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Now Opetaia has taken over Briedis’ place within the division he can be a person in demand. Richard Riakporhe is likely one of the main contenders to problem for the IBF belt that the Australian holds.
The Londoner gained an IBF eliminator when he beat Fabio Turchi at Wembley Area final month and is essentially the most highly-ranked contender within the IBF’s rankings. He’ll be capable of push to change into the obligatory challenger for Opetaia. It doesn’t imply Riakporhe will essentially battle Opetaia subsequent however the Briton, if he retains his place, ought to ultimately implement a shot on the new champion.
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Riakporhe’s promoter Ben Shalom is pushing for him to field for a world title in his subsequent bout. He beforehand advised Sky Sports activities, “We’re very shut [to a world title fight]. Richard, that was his dream 12 months in the past. He is now on the point of it. He would not care which one it’s.
“He seems to be the half, he seems to be as if he can take anybody on and he seems to be as if he can knock anybody out. I hope he’ll battle for a world title this yr.”
© 2022 Sky UK


Originally posted 2022-10-11 23:28:24.

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