Injured Opetaia delays world title fight

Murray Wenzel |

Jai Opetaia’s shot at the IBF cruiserweight world title has been delayed again after the Australian suffered a rib injury in training.

Opetaia (21-0) was set to fight Latvian veteran Mairis Briedis (28-1) on the Gold Coast on May 11, in the country’s first world title fight since Jeff Horn defended his WBO welterweight belt against Gary Corcoran in 2017.

The fight had already been delayed from April after Briedis caught COVID-19, with Opetaia now forced to recover and push the fight out to a date yet to be confirmed in June.

The bout was also set to serve as Justis Huni’s return to the ring for the first time since June last year, against New Zealander danger Kiki Leutele.

Huni missed the Olympics due to a hand injury and had COVID-19 twice since then, stalling the progress of a man his camp believe can challenge for a world heavyweight title. 

An announcement on if or when that fight will now take place is expected in coming days.