A purse bid hearing won’t be necessary for the ordered Jai Opetaia-Mairis Briedis championship fight.
It’s possible the matchup itself is not necessary—at least not next.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the IBF has indefinitely suspended the scheduled purse bid hearing to have to determine promotional rights for the cruiserweight championship rematch. Opetaia was ordered to defend his IBF belt versus Briedis in what would have been a thriller to their July 2 meeting won by Opetaia via unanimous decision.
However, Boxing Scene has learned that Sydney’s Opetaia (22-0, 17KOs) could instead enter a September 30 voluntary defense, which would be packaged with a second title fight in either London or Manchester. The other end of that would be newly crowned IBF junior featherweight title holder Ellie Scotney (7-0, 0KOs).
A location for such an event is not yet confirmed, nor are opponents for either champ. However, Opetaia is rumored to next face Manchester’s Jordan Thompson (15-0, 12KOs), as first suggested by International Boxing News via social media.
Thompson is coming off a sixth-round knockout of Luke Watkins on April 22 in Cardiff, Wales. The bout will mark the first title defense for Opetaia, who dethroned Briedis via unanimous decision last July in Broadbeach, Australia.
Scotney would also make first title defense. The 25-year-old Catford native claimed the IBF 122-pound title in a ten-round win over Cherneka Johnson on June 10 at OVO Arena Wembley. She will enter a voluntary defense for the upcoming Setember appearance before she pursues the division’s titleholders.
Part of the agreement in Opetaia accepting a voluntary defense is his commitment to next face Briedis should he prevail in what will mark his first fight of 2023. Opetaia was shelved earlier in the year to fully recover from shoulder surgery.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox