Cruiserweight sensation Jai Opetaia served up a sizzling performance at Wembley Arena on Saturday, dismantling British contender Jordan Thompson in just four rounds. Fresh from his victory against the tough Latvian, Mairis Breidis in 2022, Opetaia displayed zero traces of cage rust, making a swift dinner out of Thompson.
Young Thompson, still cutting his teeth in the sport’s great arenas, looked a tad lost from the get-go. Despite towering at 6’6 and having a noticeable height edge, Opetaia’s dynamism allowed him to bridge the gap, delivering punch after punch.
Round one ended with Opetaia showering Thompson with a rain of punches, leaving the Brit teetering. Round two was a similar story; Opetaia showcased his impeccable timing, bypassing Thompson’s reach to land fierce uppercuts.
Round three painted a clear picture. A volley of fierce lefts and rights sent Thompson onto the floor, and with Opetaia smelling victory, the onslaught continued. Thompson barely found his way back to his corner when the bell rang.
One could argue Thompson’s team might have thrown in the towel then, but round four began and quickly ended. A devastating overhand right floored Thompson, with the ref stepping in decisively.
Post-fight, Opetaia’s confidence was shining. “Feels like tonight was more about Thompson than me,” he quipped. “They tried cornering me with a small ring, but surprise, surprise! You can’t underestimate this power.”
Now boasting an impressive 23-0 record, Opetaia recalled his challenging journey after the Breidis fight, hinting at his surgeries. “Every surgery was an upgrade. I’m now in my prime,” he confidently declared.
Unfazed by past injuries, Opetaia’s next target seems to be WBO champ, Chris Billam-Smith. “Done with this fight, now who’s up next? I aim for respect. That WBO belt? I want it.”
Billam-Smith, on duty for UK radio, seemed thrilled about this potential showdown. But he’s currently tied to a rematch with Lawrence Okolie after a shock win earlier this year.
With Billam-Smith and Okolie tied up, Opetaia’s dance card might include Richard Riakporhe, who had earlier backed out from fighting Opetaia. Notably, Riakporhe bagged a win over ex-WBO champ Krzysztof Głowacki this year.
As for Thompson, once touted as a promising tennis talent, it’s back to the drawing board, and a title shot seems distant for now.