Jai Opetaia Wins Via First-round Knockout.
Jai Opetaia battled Ellis Zorro on the Day of Reckoning card including Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder in different bouts, on Saturday, December 23, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Jai Opetaia(24-0, 19KOs) spectacularly defeated British underdog Ellis Zorro(17-1, 7KOs) by delivering a vicious first-round knockout to regain The Ring belt, solidifying his claim as the best cruiserweight in the world. The Australian fighter may now be eyeing the heavyweight class.
Unbeaten Opetaia, 28, from Australia had previously demonstrated his willingness to release his grip before punishing his opponent with a volcanic left hook that sent him flying back against the canvas, his head bouncing off the ropes and canvas as he made a shuddering, almost instantaneous, end to the challenge.
After defeating Mairis Briedis to win the IBF and Ring championships last year, Opetaia suffered two broken jaws and had to wait a frustrating fourteen months to defend them.
“I fought through absolute agony to win that belt and it saddens me to relinquish it. But the fact is, Briedis isn’t ready to fight on December 23 and I need to stay active. I simply can’t turn down a career-high payday,” said Opetaia in media reports
“I did, but look at this place, beautiful, I’m happy to be here. I’m pumped; first-round knockout, I’m ready for the next fight. The last 18 months is just part of the journey. I’m here in the ring now and that’s all that matters. These dudes [promoters] put the people in front of me and I just knock them out,” said Opetaia when asked on Sunday if he had let out his anger in the ring.
“Zorro was a bit too hesitant and he got clipped, that’s the way it goes. I train for 12 rounds, was prepared for 12 and if the knockout comes, it comes,” he added.
On February 17 in Riyadh, Opetaia might compete in the Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk bout. Opetaia might follow in Usyk’s footsteps, uniting the cruiserweight class before advancing to the heavyweight division, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
“I believe Jai’s going to do the exact same thing [as Usyk]. we’re talking about a pound-for-pound talent,” said Hearn.
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