Boxing Tonight: Opetaia Vs Thompson: Date, Start Time & Undercard Info
Jai Opetaia (22-0, 17 KOs) will make his first defense of the IBF and Ring Magazine Cruiserweight World Titles against Jordan Thompson live on DAZN. Opetaia, a fearless Aussie, won these belts from Mairis Briedis in July 2022 with a jaw-dropping performance, quite literally breaking his jaw in both the second and final rounds. An unbeaten warrior in the ring, Opetaia’s professional record sparkles with 22 straight wins.
But who is Jai Opetaia? A 28-year-old southpaw with a glittering amateur career, boasting gold at the World Junior Championships in 2011 and a youthful presence in the 2012 Olympics. Now he returns to London, ready to put his hardware on the line against Manchester’s undefeated contender Thompson (15-0, 12 KOs), fresh off a dominating sixth-round TKO victory.
Thompson, a 6′ 7″ powerhouse trained by Tony Sims, is no stranger to success. Since signing a multi-fight deal with Eddie Hearn in June 2021, he’s conquered all five of his bouts, even nabbing the IBF European Title. Can he outbox Opetaia?
“I’m feeling on top of the world,” Opetaia expressed with a smile. “We’re almost at the finish line. We’ve sweated, trained, and now, it feels like we’re about to enter the boxing ring of life. His height? Sure, that’s an advantage. But I’ve faced tall guys before. Boxing is my life, every punch, every ring, every day.
Breidis? That chapter’s over. Now, I’ve set my eyes on a fresh goal: September 30. That’s our day. The dedication, the sleepless nights, the sacrifices – it’s all led to this moment. Honestly, I’ve tried to study his past games, but it’s hard to judge. He hasn’t truly been challenged, but come September 30, we’ll unveil what’s beneath.
Thompson, with a hint of confidence in his eyes, shared, “I try not to get caught up in what my opponent’s up to. We’ve done our part, strategized, prepared. I believe in conserving my energy, focusing on what truly matters. For me, the real game begins on fight night. It’s like a switch, and trust me, when it’s time, I’ll flip it on.
All these interviews, the fans, the hype – it’s part of the journey. I love engaging with everyone, but when it’s time to step into the ring, that’s when you’ll see a different side of me. Some might think I have nothing to risk, but I feel the weight. Every punch, every round, there’s so much at stake. At heart, I’m a winner, always have been. When you believe in yourself like I do, it’s about staying cool, even when the spotlight’s on you.
I’ve heard the whispers, the claims that this is a big leap for me. But let’s get one thing straight – it’s just as big for him. Breidis? He’s skilled, no doubt. But I believe his best days might be behind him. He won his rounds, did what he had to, but facing someone like me? He hasn’t seen anything yet.”
Opetaia declared with a sense of anticipation, “The wait has been long for a worthy challenger, but at last, a fight is upon us. I must thank Jordan for rising to the occasion, but I hope he’s prepared!”
Thompson expressed his determination, “Opetaia holds the top spot, and that makes him my target. Now is my moment, and come September 30th, the world will witness my victory. I’m not here to merely participate; I’m here to win.”
The 122lbs queen of Catford, Ellie Scotney (7-0), is also set to defend her IBF World Title, facing Argentina’s Laura Soledad Griffa. Scotney comfortably outpointed Australia’s Cherneka Johnson last June to clinch the belt, while Griffa, also known as ‘La Joya’, gets her second chance at the IBF Super-Bantamweight after a previous stumble in 2018. With two wins in 2023, she’s poised to make her mark.
On the undercard, dangerous Gravesend Cruiserweight Cheavon Clarke (6-0, 5 KOs) squares off with Vasil Ducar (14-6-2, 10 KOs) for the vacant IBF International Title, and Rhiannon Dixon (8-0, 1 KO) takes on Norway’s Katherina Thanderz for the vacant EBU European Lightweight crown.
Scotney, brimming with ambition, stated, “Securing a World Title was a dream, but now my aspirations reach higher. I aim to be the unrivaled Super-Bantamweight, defending my title and showcasing the different levels within the sport. September 30 will be the day I reveal just that.”
Griffa, exuding confidence, announced, “My excitement for this World Title challenge is immense. Ellie Scotney may possess skill, but she lacks the tenacity I embody. I’m a true warrior, and come September, I will dismantle her and reclaim the World Title for Argentina.”
Billericay Middleweight George Liddard and Eltham Flyweight Maiseyrose Courtney will be back in action following recent victories. Also, keep an eye on Watford Super-Flyweight Shannon Ryan, fighting for the sixth time as a pro, and newcomer Middleweight Jimmy Sains making his professional debut.
Eddie Hearn, the Matchroom Sport Chairman, elaborated on the grand event, “September 30 will see a magnificent World Title double-header at the OVO Arena Wembley, featuring IBF Cruiserweight champion Jai Opetaia facing Manchester’s Jordan Thompson, and Catford’s Ellie Scotney defending her Super-Bantamweight crown against Laura Soledad Griffa. Jai’s victory over Briedis was an emblematic moment for Australian boxing, positioning him as the Cruiserweight number one. Jordan’s bold move deserves commendation, as he skips the local scene for a shot at ultimate success.”
He continued, “Ellie’s eyes are set on unifying her division, but first, she must successfully defend her title. Alongside this, the undercard is packed with title action including Chev Clarke, Vasil Ducar, Rhiannon Dixon, and Katherina Thanderz. All this excitement will be broadcast live on DAZN.”
Adding to the excitement, Alfie Sharman, VP of DAZN, said, “Jai’s debut on DAZN, set for September 30 in London, is thrilling. Being one of the best, and with Jordan’s promising future, this match promises to be explosive. Catch it live exclusively on DAZN.”
Fight Card / Weights
Jai Opetaia 198.6 vs. Jordan Thompson 198.9Cheavon Clarke 198.3 vs. Vasil Ducar 199.4Jimmy Sains 162.3 vs. Bartlomiej Stryczeck 162Rhiannon Dixon 134.4 vs. Katharina Thanderz 134.2Ellie Scotney 121.6 vs. Laura Soledad Griffa 120.5George Liddard 162.6 vs. Peter Kramer 160.5Ibraheem Sulaimaan 135.8 vs. Joshua Ocampo 133.6Shannon Ryan 115.1 vs. Xexia Jorneac 113.7Maiseyrose Courtney 114.2 vs. Martina Bernile 113.1