Saudis Keen On Multi-Million Dollar Jai Opetaia Deal But Aussie King Will Have To Give Up His Belt

Saudis Keen On Multi-Million Dollar Jai Opetaia Deal But Aussie Champ Will Have To Give Up His Belt

Australia’s IBF Cruiserweight champion Jai Opetaia has been left with an ultimatum

The International Boxing Federation (IBF) rejected the division number one’s request for a voluntary defence against Ellis Zorro on December 23 in Saudi Arabia.

The DAZN PPV card, which features eight fights including Anthony Joshua vs Otto Wallin and Deontay Wilder vs Joseph Parker, is one of the most talked about of the year.

Opetaia was allowed to defend against Jordan Thompson rather than face mandatory challenger Mairis Briedis and the sanctioning body will not give him another extension.

This is despite multiple mandatory challengers, namely Mateusz Masternak and Richard Riakporhe giving up their positions at the last possible moment, disrupting the career of Opetaia.

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The 28-year-old is set to make $680,000 (£356,000) but he will have to give up his cruiserweight world strap to do so.

Jai Opetaia Has To Pick Between Belt And Multi-Million Deal

The IBF has made it clear that they will strip Opetaia if he fights on Dec 23, despite mandatory Briedis not complaining about the defence.

Opetaia fighting on Dec 23 could come with a pot of gold at the end though.

Australia’s Courier Mail is reporting that the Saudis are keen to sign Jai Opetaia to a three-fight deal that would be worth in excess of $2 million and set him up for life.

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Mick Francis: “The Saudi camp won’t take kindly to Jai pulling out and then there’s every chance they won’t want him ever again moving forward.”

“We’re negotiating a three-fight deal with these guys and it’s hard to do a three-fight deal if he doesn’t take the first fight against Zorro.”

“Jai has worked his butt off and now this is a chance to capitalise on the fruits of his hard work, but unfortunately he may have to give up the title.”

By Darshan Desai

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