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Opetaia vs Briedis II: Will History Repeat Itself?

On Saturday, at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jai Opetaia will compete in a 12-round cruiserweight bout against Mairis Briedis for The Ring and vacant IBF world titles.

It will be a repeat of their 2022 clash in Australia, but without the home support, can the undefeated Aussie Opetaia make light work of his Latvian opponent, replicate history and continue his ascension through the 200-pound weight class?

Opetaia vs Briedis II: Will History Repeat Itself?
Jai Opetaia of Australia/STRINGER/Anadolu via AFP

If you want to leave the guessing work to us, no problem, as you can find our complete Opetaia vs. Briedis II breakdown and boxing odds insight below. Enjoy!


Ring of Fire Event Information

  • Date and Time: Saturday, May. 18, Noon ET
  • Location: Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Promotion: Queensbury Promotions
  • Scheduled Bouts: 10
  • How to Watch: Box Live
  • Main Event Bout: Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk
  • Co-Main Event Bout: Jai Opetaia vs Mairis Briedis



Opetaia: Cruiserweight Legend in the Making

It’s hard not to get goosebumps when watching the highlight reel of Australia’s Jai Opetaia. Some of those Aussies really know how to bang, and Opetaia is a shining example of this.

Unfortunately, two years ago, Opetaia met with his weekend opponent, Mairis Briedis — who’d only lost to Oleksandr Usyk at the time — and the outcome produced two injured fighters. However, unlike most pro boxers, Opetaia has been quick to correct his inactivity, and Saturday’s fight will be his third since September 2023.

With two knockouts in the bag to mark his return as a force in the cruiserweight rankings and the division’s absence of a true domineering character since the departure of Oleksandr Usyk, Opetaia is en route to replace that void.


Briedis Returns with Questionable Form

Dissimilar to Opetaia, Briedis hasn’t had the opportunity to compete since they last fought, and it’s been over 600 days since he last competed in a pro bout. Not to mention, this huge layoff now sees the Latvian slugger returning to action as a 39-year-old, and while inactivity places question marks around his form, his age is another factor to consider.

On the bright side, Briedis can certainly find solace in his first performance against Opetaia. Nobody has given the Aussie such a challenging fight, and he notably left the young up-and-comer with a broken jaw in that split-decision loss he suffered.

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Opetaia Expects a War!

Per Boxing Scene, Opetaia discussed his expectations ahead of the highly anticipated rematch:

I’m feeling good, ready to put on a good show. I feel like he will come out swinging, and we’re prepared for anything he brings.

I don’t know how it ends yet, but it ends with my hand raised.”


Opetaia vs Briedis II: The Tale of the Tape

Pro Record
Win/Loss (Last 5)
The Ring World (Cruiserweight)
Championship Titles
147 days
686 days
8 years
14 years


Opetaia vs Briedis II in The Tape Room

Opetaia is 28, has won 19 of his 24 pro bouts via KO/TKO, and will own a height, reach and activity advantage heading into Saturday’s co-main event. Another variable to consider is the high-profile event in which he’s competing. A standout performance this weekend would cement his name as an elite contender moving forward, so we should expect a man on a mission.

For Briedis, questions about his age and inactivity have been the primary storyline. But going back to the first fight, we saw Opetaia dominate in the early goings, and this is something Briedis will need to fix in the rematch. He must get going early and prevent the first-half onslaught, especially as the Aussie has shown his opponents no respect lately and an aggressive confidence has been unstoppable.

Prime Briedis put Usyk on the back foot, and it was one of the closest fights the Ukrainian G.O.A.T has ever been involved in. So, for those doubting the Latvian, it’s not wise, but that lingering sentiment of age and activity could provide the turning point in Briedis’ career.

We know Opetaia will be head-hunting, and even as an inexperienced boxer with a broken jaw, he was able to outclass Briedis in the first bout. A lot has changed since then, and while power, strength and a steel chin have prevented Briedis from ever being knocked out or even knocked down, those aforementioned variables could make all the difference in the unexpected outcome of Briedis finally being stopped via KO/TKO.

Take A Look At These Other 2 Boxing Special Articles

  • Opetaia is undefeated as a professional (24-0)
  • Opetaia has won 19 of his 24 bouts via KO/TKO
  • Briedis hasn’t fought for over 600 days


Opetaia and Briedis from a Betting Perspective

A -715 moneyline price tag at sportsbooks isn’t leaving much to the imagination of Opetaia outright bettors. No problem, Opetaia will do what no other fighter has, and that’s force a stoppage over the durable Latvian star.

The only viable game plan for Briedis to find success is to box. He needs to let his hands go early and be the aggressor. While a prime Briedis could accomplish this, the near-40-year-old isn’t going to be able to.

Opetaia is a pound-for-pound menace, and while I don’t believe a spectacular walk-off KO will emerge, he can undoubtedly cause so much damage and deliver a volume of punishing shots to the point where the referee has no choice but to step in.

My Best Bet: Opetaia Win By KO/TKO (-140)



Questions Of The Day

Can Opetaia KO Briedis?

Mairis Briedis has never been stopped in thirty professional boxing bouts via KO/TKO. However, after a two-year layoff and injury woes for the Latvian, he’ll meet Opetaia, a true KO artist, with a point to prove and all the surrounding factors supporting his case for another stoppage win.

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