Current International Boxing Federation (IBF) cruiser (up to 90.3 kg) division champion Jay Opetaija has not fought since July of last year, when he took the championship belt directly from Mairim Briedis in a 12-round fight.
Opetaia suffered a broken jaw in this fight. Consequently, he had to miss several months to recover. But he hasn’t had a fight so far, because the mandatory contenders for the IBF title haven’t agreed to go in the ring against Opetaia anyway.
Opetaija was previously expected to defend his championship belt against Mateus Masterniak from Poland. This fight did not take place because Masterniak refused it. Now Richards Riakpor has also refused the duel against Opetaia.
Now the IBF has reached out to Mairim Briedis, appointing him as a mandatory contender.
Clark, representative of the Australian promotion organization “Tasman Fighters”, explains that both parties must agree on the fight by September 8. If it doesn’t happen, then there will be a bidding for the title fight against Opetaia. It means that cruiser the promoters of the boxers in the division will be able to come up with specific pay offers for both fighters and the highest offer will win.
Previously, it was reported that Bried was scheduled to fight the little-known Scottish boxer John McCallum on July 21 in Edinburgh. However, shortly after that, Brieza’s representatives announced that they had received an offer for a “world-wide fight”, thus the duel against McCallum was cancelled.
Briedis has also not entered the ring since the loss to Opetai. He has 28 wins and two losses in his career. Opetaija, on the other hand, has not yet felt the bitterness of losing in 22 duels.