Jai Opetaia: “Dream it, believe it, become it.”

10/03/2023 - No comments

Stamina For Sale had the chance to sit down with lineal cruiserweight champion, Jai Opetaia, to dive deep into his boxing journey, inspirations, and aspirations.

Growing Up with Boxing

“Over the years, you know, I’ve been fighting my whole life. I started when I was about eight years old and grew up around the sport. I got my own sort of style, taking little things from everyone. I’m always learning.”

When asked about his heroes in the sport, Opetaia expressed that while he took inspiration from many, he didn’t strictly adhere to any one fighter’s style.

“My grandfather’s my hero. There’s never been really a fighter that I’ve looked at and been like, oh, I want to do exactly what he does. I’ve always just got certain things from certain people. It’s not a specific style that I’ve wanted to mimic.”

Reflecting on Early Days and Dual Identity

Opetaia recalls his younger days, especially his participation in the 2012 Olympics when he was just 17:

“That was a huge experience, you know, fighting on those big platforms. It was a learning curve.”

Highlighting his dual identity, being represented by both the Australian and Samoan national anthems, he shares:

“To be able to fly two flags and have full support every time I step in the ring is an honor. It’s something that motivates me and drives me every day.”

The Fighter’s Mission

Opetaia’s dedication to the sport is evident. His goal is clear:

“All I want to do is get all the belts. Whoever has those belts, that’s who I want to fight.”

And regarding his current division:

“I’m comfortable as a cruiser at this moment. It’s my lifestyle; I live and breathe it every day.”

There’s a possibility of moving up, though:

“I’d love to go to the heavyweight division further down the track. I believe I have the boxing ability to be up there with the big boys.”

The Craft and Respect for Boxing

Opetaia emphasizes the importance of skill over showmanship:

“People get confused these days with show business and boxing. They sell a fight with their mouth and not their skills. I want to be the boxer that a coach shows their fighter. When people watch me, they get their pen and paper out.”

The Future

As for the future? Opetaia keeps it open-ended:

“Who knows what the future holds? After my last fight, I really earned a lot of UK respect. We’re fighting for World titles now, so it also becomes a business. When they start throwing money around, I’ll fight anywhere.”

As we concluded the interview, he echoed our catchphrase with enthusiasm:

“Dream it, believe it, become it.”

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