Taking Title on the Road
Mairis Briedis puts his IBF world cruiserweight title on the line against hometown hero Jai Opetaia.
It’s never easy to win against an opponent who has the crowd in his corner. However, the 37-year-old champion is a -210 favorite and he’ll fancy his chances following five consecutive victories.
Boxing betting markets have Opetaia at +170, so they’re keeping the underdog safe.
Champion Used to Traveling
Briedis has fought in four different countries in his last five fights, with Saturday’s fight in Queensland, Australia, being the fifth.
The Latvian had an easy fight against Artur Mann last year, which ended with a third-round knockout. However, his two fights prior were against top-level opponents in Yuniel Dorticos and Krzysztof Glowacki.
He handled them both and that’s why the sportsbook has Briedis as the favorite. He knocked out Glowacki in the third round and he was a 31-1 fighter, so the form checks out.
The victory came in Latvia, and it’s much harder to win in Australia against an Australian opponent, so that’s the task facing the champion. He is happy in Australia and is ready for the challenge.
“I’m not really getting stressed out about things that I can’t control or change,” Briedis told The Ring. “I had this experience when we were fighting Dorticos, when the fight was moved. I was stressing a lot about it back then, but I took it as a lesson and a good learning curve. It is what it is.
“You get prepared for three fights but only have one. It’s more expensive but we can’t control it. We are here now and we are ready for July 2.”
Opetaia Facing Toughest Test
Asia-Oceanian champion Opetaia faces his toughest test by some margin at the Gold Coast Convention Center.
The 27-year-old southpaw is 21-0 with 17 knockouts, but they have come against far inferior opponents than Briedis, so we’re worried about his ringcraft.
He has fought mostly Aussie opponents, and although Australian boxing is in good shape, it’s tough to get an accurate line on his ability.
The betting online underdog has scored three consecutive knockout victories following a third-round win over Daniel Russell. It was a one-star fight and he now faces a five-star fighter, so it’s a massive step up.
“I know this is a big step up from my past competition,” Opetaia said. “My last fights I blew them out of the water… I was levels above…I’m ready to become a world champion.”
Briedis vs Opetaia Head-to-Head
The first meeting between Briedis and Opetaia.
Briedis vs Opetaia Fight Information
- Game: Briedis (28-1) vs Opetaia (21-0)
- Location: Gold Coast Convention Center, Queensland, Australia
- Day/Time: Saturday, 4:30 a.m. ET
- Briedis vs Opetaia Live Stream: Box Live
Briedis vs Opetaia Betting Lines
Briedis vs Opetaia Prediction
We’re going with the favorite in what could be a one-sided affair. Briedis is a value pick at -210 and he could have been around -400.
He has the significant class edge over Opetaia, who, despite having home advantage, could struggle to put combinations together against the more well-rounded fighter.
Boxing odds are in the favorite’s favor and he could win by knockout, which pays +200. It’s another option for boxing bettors in a fight that could end in the first six rounds.
“The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.”