Undefeated Australian boxer Jai Opetaia will risk his mandatory shot at Mairis Briedis’ IBF world cruiserweight title by taking on countryman Trent Broadhurst to “blow out the cobwebs”.
The Brisbane bout with Broadhurst on December 4 looms as an important tune-up for Opetaia, who has had just one fight over the past two years after undergoing hand surgery.
The fight will be two months out from Opetaia’s scheduled meeting with Latvia’s Briedis, who defeated Germany’s Arthur Mann in front of a home crowd last week.
“He’s been out of the ring for 12 months and Briedis has had his warm-up and defended his world title,” Opetaia’s manager, Michael Francis, told AAP on Monday night.
“Jai doesn’t want to go in rusty. He needs to blow off the cobwebs and get out there and fight.
“In every fight you worry, but it’s a risk we need to take. In that division you’re only one punch away but I think Jai is a little bit too smart to get into a brawl.
“He’ll get a lot out of it. Trent’s a good fighter; he’s no easybeat but we would hope Jai would put him away within four or five rounds.”
Francis also revealed that Opetaia’s clash with Briedis could take place in Australia.
“We’re doing our best to bring it to either Sydney or the Gold Coast on February 4,” he said.
“Jai will fight on December 4 and then on February 4. We’re working very hard to bring it here.
“They’re interested in coming here. It just depends on making the fight make sense financially.”