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Home » Jai Opetaia suffers double-sided jaw break, rallies to win IBF title

Jai Opetaia suffers double-sided jaw break, rallies to win IBF title

Australian cruiserweight Jai Opetaia claimed the IBF title by outpointing Mairis Briedis in Queensland, Australia.

Home advantage at the Gold Coast Convention Centre paid off as Opetaia won by scores of 116-112 [twice] and 115-113.

Opetaia moves to 22-0 with 17 KOs but had to survive a late rally from the World Boxing Super Series champion.

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Jai Opetaia

Luckily for Opetaia, he’d put the work in early on to secure the victory.

Suffering a cut over the right eye in the opening session, Briedis had to deal with the ailment. However, so did Opetaia, who broke his jaw in the second round and fought through the pain.

Briedis also looked to have broken his nose in the fourth as Opetaia began to dominate.

Dropping to 28-2, 20 KOs, Briedis came on strong but couldn’t do enough to keep his title.

The doctor at ringside on the night believed Opetaia suffered a ‘bilateral mandibular fracture’ – a fractured jaw on both sides of his face. The new champion will need surgery and be unable to defend his belt in the coming months.

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In the aftermath, Briedis visited the new champion’s dressing room to congratulate him. During the process, he asked Opetaia for a rematch.

In other news, Reyes Boxing Promotions is proud to announce hard-hitting Zsolt “The Phenom” Daranyi will fight for the NABA welterweight championship Saturday, July 16, at Daughtry Gym in Braintree, MA.

Born in Hungary and fighting out of Toronto, Daranyi won national amateur championships in both countries. As a pro, he’s 17-1 with 16 wins by knockout.

The 27-year-old is trained by boxing legend Lennox Lewis and captured the Canadian welterweight title in his most recent bout, a second-round knockout of Flavio Michel on May 7.

Daranyi’s opponent will be announced shortly.

“I’m really excited to have Zsolt on the card,” said Michael Reyes, CEO of Reyes Boxing Promotions.

“He aspires to fight top welterweights, so winning impressively would be a big step in the right direction.”

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WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Facebook @officialworldboxingnews and Twitter @worldboxingnews.