Jai Opetaia has targeted a fight with Lawrence Okolie after becoming a world champion – but there are other options.
The Australian, who dethroned Mairis Briedis last month in what was a seismic shock, claimed the IBF crown at cruiserweight.
Opetaia was revered in the aftermath, not only for his performance but also for his bravery as he suffered a fractured jaw.
And the 27-year-old, from New South Wales, already has his next target in mind.
The southpaw (22-0, 17 KOs) also has the Ring Magazine bauble in the 200-pound division and is looking forward to potentially unifying the division in his next outing.
But a fight against Chris Billam-Smith-Smith, the Bournemouth man who owns the European and Commonwealth belts and outpointed Isaac Lowe in his home city last weekend, is the latest potential showdown to be mentioned.
Dean Lonergan, Opetaia’s promoter, was interviewed by Sky Sports on the night, sitting ringside and watching the action, and he said there is scope for the newly-crowned champion to travel to the UK and defend his belt.
“Both these guys make a very good opponent for Jai in the very near future.”
Billam-Smith and Chamberlain, the former of whom is a gym-mate of the aforementioned Okolie and the latter being a former opponent, produced some scintillating stuff at the Bournemouth International Centre, leaving fans clamouring for a swift return to the south coast.
And Lonergan said it is possible for a fight between Opetaia and, more than likely, Billam-Smith to be made without many obstacles.
“I imagine Jai [was] watching this fight and fascinated to hear the outcome.
“At the end of the day, we don’t have a mandatory and can pick whoever we want to fight – and I’m really impressed [with] what I’ve seen.
“If everything works, we would come up here in a heartbeat. We are talking to the right people so let’s see what happens.”