Jai Opetaia’s next opponent has been announced. The Australian will defend his cruiserweight titles against England’s Ellis Zorro.
Jai Opetaia to face Ellis Zorro on December 23 card in Saudi Arabia
- Jai Opetaia to fight Ellis Zorro on the December 23 fight card in Saudi Arabia.
- Opetaia is favoured against Zorro.
- Both fighters are undefeated.
- “Day Of Reckoning” fight card also features Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
Jai Opetaia’s next opponent has officially been announced. The 28-year-old Australian will defend his BF and Ring cruiserweight titles against England’s Ellis Zorro in the “Day of Reckoning" fight card on December 23rd in Saudi Arabia. Anthony Joshua vs. Otto Wallin and Deontay Wilder vs. Joseph Parker are the headline events of this fight card.
Opetaia to defend IBF and Ring titles
Jai Opetaia is the reigning cruiserweight world champion after defeating Mairis Briedis via unanimous decision back in July 2022. The Australian defended his title in September of this year against Jordan Thompson at the Wembley Arena. He will again be asked to defend his titles against Ellis Zorro in Saudi Arabia.
This fight was announced along with the rest of the “Day Of Reckoning” fight card matches in London on Wednesday. Previously, it was assumed Opetaia would face off against Mairis Briedis in a mandatory title defence. It now seems a deal has been reached to allow Opetaia to make a voluntary defence against the up-and-coming Englishman Zorro.
Opetaia the big favourite
Like in Jai Opetaia’s previous title defence against Jordan Thompson, he is a big favourite coming into this match. The betting sites have him as a lock to retain his title.
Despite being three years older than Opetaia, the Englishman is far less experienced than the Australian southpaw. Zorro has fought just matches. However, he is undefeated in all of them. Opetaia, who is also undefeated, has fought in 23 professional fights, and actually has more knockout victories, 18, than Zorro has total fights.
It is a virtual consensus that Zorro will need to be at his best to survive against Opetaia, let alone actually win the fight. With that being said, Zorro is coming into this match off a convincing victory against Luca D'Ortenzi in October.
Like the betting agencies, Opetaia is confident of his chances. “I deserve to be here! I'm the best Cruiserweight on the planet,” the Australian southpaw said at a press conference in London on Wednesday.
Opetaia also revealed that he had not heard of Zorro before being paired up with him for his upcoming title defence. Additionally, the Aussie gave some insight into his strategy for the fight against Zorro. “We came here to make a statement with Jordan Thompson…This one, we just got to take our time.”
Opetaia’s comments reinforced what many already believed about his fight against Zorro. Many commentators are saying this match is a tune-up fight for Opetaia to help him get ready for his eventual rematch against former cruiserweight world champion Mairis Briedis. This rematch could happen as soon as February 2024.
While Aussies are no doubt excited to see their man on the big stage in Saudi Arabia on December 23, the rest of the world will be paying more attention to the big heavyweights on the fight card, namely Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. Both fighters are the headliners for this so-called “Day Of Reckoning” fight card.
Both Joshua and Wilder are looking to reclaim their past glories after both losing their respective world titles to Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury in recent years.
Joshua will face off against current WBA Intercontinental heavyweight title holder Otto Wallin. Wilder, meanwhile, will fight Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker.
The Day Of Reckoning fight card will take place on December 23, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Opetaia, Wilder, and Joshua are favourites to win their respective fights, but as we all know, anything can happen in boxing, especially on such a big stage.