One more son of Samoa climbing the W.B.O. ranks

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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RISING CRUISERWEIGHT BOXER: Jai Opetaia aims to achieve many personal dreams and goals that includes defending his Australian cruiserweight title and fighting for a title in Samoa.

RISING CRUISERWEIGHT BOXER: Jai Opetaia aims to achieve many personal dreams and goals that includes defending his Australian cruiserweight title and fighting for a title in Samoa. (Photo: Photosport)

A proud Samoan, Jai Opetaia, is continuing his relentless pursuit to be the number one cruiserweight in the world. 

The Samoan Australian cruiserweight started off 2018 with a bang by defending his Australian cruiserweight title on the Anthony Mundine-Tommy Browne undercard in January. 

The rising cruiserweight boxer notched up a win against a Queensland based boxer with the fight ending in the third round.

His latest victory against German cuiserweight title holder, Lucas Paszkowsky, in Brisbane last weekend won Jai the World Boxing Organisation (W.B.O.) Asia Pacific Cruiserweight Title.  

Going into the fight with the German titleholder, Jai was ranked at number 14 in the world.

But after the knockout win against the German cruiserweight he is now placed at number 11 in the W.B.O. rankings, moving him closer to his ultimate goal of being number one.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer from Australia, Fran Bradford from the Opetaia’s Management Team, said they are happy with Opetaia’s progress.

“Jai was too good and outclassed Paszkowsky by knocking him out by TKO in the second round. He is progressing very well through the ranks now with 15 wins – 0. He did Samoa and Australia proud.”

Earlier last year, Opetaia was the key attraction at the Fight for Marist II boxing tournament and being his first visit in Samoa at the time, the proud young Samoan boxer now has his eye on fighting more matches in his ancestral home ground. 

His management team has indicated that part of their plan over the next 18 months includes the possibility of Opetaia fighting for a Title in Samoa, which will fulfill a personal dream for the rising Samoan Australian Cruiserweight.

In the meantime, according to his Manager and Promoter, Michael Francis, the Opetaia camp plans to keep him busy with competitive fights against quality experienced opponents.

Some possibilities include the likes of Luke Watkins, the current Commonwealth Champion W.B.O. and international champion, Mairis Briedis, who will test Opetaia’s current abilities.

"We intend to keep Jai busy in 2018 in competitive fights enabling his father and trainer, Tapu, to hone and polish skills while we use this year to get him into contention,” Francis told the Australian media.

"At just 22, we have time on our side and our goal is not to get him a world title shot, we want him to win one. So preparation is everything."

Opetaia has continued his winning streak showing a hunger and determination not to waste any time by climbing up the ranks very quickly so early in the year.

“Everyone is telling me to take my time and I’m only 22, it’s too young. But I don’t want to waste time. I want to get in there. I reckon I’ve got the skills now to mix it up with the best.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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