Eddie Hearn has expressed his dismay at a ‘ridiculous’ decision taken by the IBF regarding one of their world title holders.
Australian world cruiserweight champion Jai Opetaia has been stripped of his IBF title because he decided to fight on the huge Day of Reckoning card in Saudi Arabia this weekend. He is set to pocket a rumoured $680,000 payday for the fight with Britain’s Ellis Zorro.
Last time out in October, Opetaia swept aside another Brit in Jordan Thompson for which the IBF granted him an exemption but they are refusing to do so again, instead ordering him to fight Latvia’s Mairis Briedis in a mandatory title defence. It would be a rematch of the fight that saw Opetaia first win his belt on the Gold Coast last year despite having a broken jaw.
On X, Hearn has shared his disappointment with the move.
“Ridiculous decision but everyone knows who the king of the division is!”
Opetaia himself has posted a statement claiming Bredies is injured and unable to fight and said he was happy to step aside until he is fit again. Despite an appeal to the IBF to that effect, they have been denied the exemption.
In the same post, he claimed he remains the top dog despite who owns the belts.
“All roads still go through me.”
Incredibly, even this move has not altered the final line-up for the Day of Reckoning card meaning it remains one of the strongest to have ever been put together with the likes of Anthony Joshua, Otto Wallin, Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker and many more all in action.