Samoan Australian IBF and Ring World Cruiserweight Champion, Jai Opetaia is recovering well after undergoing surgery on his shoulder and looks to soon be back into recovery and training.
“Surgery went smoothly. I’ll be back in full swing training hard and catching fish in no time!”
The 27 year old is used to recovery programmes, having broken his jaw in two places during his victory over veteran Mairis Briedis last July to claim the IBF and The Ring cruiserweight belts
In September last year, Jai Opetaia visited Samoa on invitation of the Hon Minister of Tourism, Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster to take part in Samoa’s 60th Independence celebrations and to mark the re-opening of Samoa’s borders post covid.
Loved in Samoa and Australia, The Ring magazine credited Opetaia’s brutal win over Briedis as their “Upset Of The Year”. The IBF has also nominated Opetaia for their “Fight of the Year” award.
The IBF award will be announced at a Chicago function in May, with Opetaia set to attend unless he is not already in camp for his next fight.
Jai Opetaia’s manager, Mick Francis says it’s mind boggling and massive for the 27 year old’s profie to be nominated for Fight of the Year.
“Think about how many IBF fights are fought around the globe … thousands!” says Francis.
Now that Opetaia has had a successful surgery, negotiations will begin for a June clash with Masternak (47 wins, five losses), says his manager Mick Francis.
Mateusz Masternak secured mandatory challenger status when he beat Australian Jason Whately via unanimous points decision last October.
“We hope to land a defence on home soil, but we’re prepared for the fight to be held in the UK or even Poland if necessary,” said Francis.
A 2012 Olympian, Opetaia (22-0 with 17 KOs) has been a relatively low-profile figure in Australian boxing despite his dominance.
Mick Francis said were it not for injuries and other setbacks, Opetaia would have won a world title at least two years ago.
Francis said Opetaia’s surgery was minor but necessary ahead of the challenge fight.
“He’s had issues in that left shoulder, had no strength there so after that he should be fine and fighting in June,” he said.
Before surgery Opetaia was confident of his return and recovery. “It’s very frustrating to be held back by these small things we can’t control but I will be back better and stronger and coming to collect the rest of my belts!”
All the best with your recovery Champ!