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Australian world champion Jai Opetaia is a contender to fight Tyson Fury in a fight promoters believe could pack out Suncorp Stadium later this year.
Fury was a ringside guest as good friend Joseph Parker made short work of Faiga ‘Django’ Opelu at Margaret Court Arena on Wednesday night. After watching that card, which included the undefeated Nikita Tszyu also stopping Ben Bommber in the first round, Fury was scheduled to fly into Brisbane on Thursday to discuss the prospect of a fight on Australian soil.
Local hopes Opetaia, Justis Huni and Demsey McKean are all angling to take on “The Gypsy King” in what would be one of the biggest boxing bouts ever staged on local soil.
Three years ago, this masthead first reported moves to make the match-up happen. The chances of it coming to fruition have increased after Opetaia overcame a broken jaw to take the IBF cruiserweight world title previously held by Mairis Briedis.
Opetaia’s manager, Mick Francis, said talks for the undefeated Australia southpaw to face Fury are underway.
“It’s a legitimate fight,” Francis said. “Tyson Fury won’t get knocked out and Jai Opetaia won’t get knocked out. It’s a fight that will go the distance, it would be an absolute war.
Boxers Jai Opetaia and Tyson Fury.Credit: Getty
“It’s all about bang for buck and you couldn’t wish for a better domestic fight.
“Jai’s got nothing to prove in the cruiserweight division and he would take the fight in a heartbeat.
“He spars heavyweights every day of the week because cruiserweights are too small for him, they’re not strong enough. It’s an absolute war when he and Justis spar.”
Francis said Opetaia would have no issue stepping up into the heavyweight division.
Australian boxer Jai Opetaia.Credit: Getty
“If Jai was going to have a crack at this, he would get into the ring at 98-99kg,” Francis said.
“He’s not a small guy, not a small heavyweight. We are talking about putting Australian boxing on the map with one of the biggest promotions this country has ever seen. People from all around the world would watch this.”
During his whirlwind Australian visit, Fury has repeatedly stated he is serious about fighting in Australia.
“I’m definitely keen, it may even be my next fight, over here,” Fury said during the week.
“I just haven’t got an opponent yet, so we’re going to figure it out. Over the next few days, we’re going to be travelling around to a few different states and looking at some potential venues for my next fight.
“Australians are always crazy boxing fans, so it would be great to get the Gypsy King Down Under.”
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