Britain’s Jordan Thompson attempts to get amongst the world’s elite on Saturday night, as he takes on IBF cruiserweight champ Jai Opetaia, in another Betfred-sponsored event at Wembley Arena. We’ve taken a look at this one and given you our selection. 

Opetaia vs Thompson Betting Tips

  • Jay Opetaia to win by KO/TKO – 8/11
  • Jay Opetaia to win in rounds 7-9 – 3/1

Manchester’s Jordan Thompson (15-0-0(12KO)) has had a stratospheric rise through the sport of professional boxing, after a late change in career.

The 6ft 7 cruiserweight initially dreamt of a totally different sporting achievement, in the much more sedate activity of professional tennis.

The 30-year-old was a highly-talented junior and was in the top 10 in the country as a 16-year-old, before eventually retiring the racquet at the age of 18.

A lack of funding saw him become disillusioned with the sport and he almost found boxing by accident. After stumbling into a gym, Thompson realised he had some talent and sparring sessions with pro boxers showed he could hold his own.

Since then, Thompson has linked up with trainer Tony Sims and defeated the more experienced Luke Watkins to win the European title back in April.

Now comes a huge step up in class and level, as due to circumstances beyond his control, Jay Opetaia (22-0-0(17KO)) has chosen Thompson as a voluntary defence for his IBF strap.

The Australian won the title back in July 2022, when he outboxed and outpointed Mairis Briedis on the Gold Coast. Opetaia showed serious stones to continue to box, despite a badly broken jaw suffered in the second round.

Following that, a series of failed purse bids and challengers dropping out of negotiations, has seen the champion enter a long period of inactivity.

What has been a frustrating period for Opetaia, has seen a golden opportunity thrust in the way of the Briton. But is it one that has come too soon?

Where and when is the fight taking place?

The fight is happening at the OVO Arena in Wembley, London, on Saturday 30th September and will be broadcast live and exclusively on DAZN in the UK.

The event is a Eddie Hearn promotion for Matchroom Boxing, with the show starting at around 7pm and the main ring walk due to take place at around 10pm UK time.

What does the full fight card look like?

  • MAIN EVENT: Jai Opetaia vs. Jordan Thompson –  IBF world cruiserweight title
  • Cheavon Clarke vs. Vasil Ducar – Cruiserweight
  • Rhiannon Dixon vs. Katherina Thanderz – Women’s lightweight
  • George Liddard vs. Peter Kramer – Middleweight
  • Ellie Scotney vs. Laura Soledad Griffa – IBF women’s super bantamweight title
  • Shannon Ryan vs. Xenia Jorneac – Women’s super flyweight
  • Maiseyrose Courtney vs. Martina Bernile – Women’s flyweight
  • Jimmy Sains vs. Bartlomiej Stryczek – Middleweight
  • Ibraheem Sulaimaan vs. Joshua Ocampo – Lightweight

(subject to change)

Who’s the favourite?

Betfred have the champion as a massive 1/6 favourite for this title defence. Thompson is available at 4/1 with the draw at 20/1.

What’s been said?

“We deserve to be here, I’ve earnt this, these stadium fights, I’m excited.

I’m also adaptable, I’ve been boxing my whole life.

I want to collect all the cruiserweight titles, I’m winning this fight.”

Jai Opetaia

“There isn’t really any time to plan for this, you have to improvise. I believe in myself and I’m looking forward to showing the world, I have what it takes to become a world champion.

This is just another chapter to the story, this is just another stepping stone, We’re going to show everyone.

I’m a very adaptable fighter, there’s various different ways I can win this fight, I’m ready for whatever”

Jordan Thompson

Jay Opetaia to win by KO/TKO – 8/11

The Mancunian certainly talks a good game and definitely came out of the press conference as the more confident man.

However, words are meaningless in a boxing ring and Opetaia looks by far the classier fighter here.

Thompson is a huge target with that 6ft 7 frame and once the Australian gets inside that long jab, he will have a field day at short range.

His explosive southpaw style is all wrong for the Brit and Thompson has a habit of staying bolt upright, with his chin exposed.

The 30-year-old carries a hell of a lot of power of his own but I think he will be too slow to land against Opetaia and it’s only a matter of when the champion takes him out.

Jay Opetaia to win in rounds 7-9 – 3/1

I expect the early rounds of this fight to be cagey, with Thompson attempting to box behind the jab and keep it at range.

However, as we reach the middle rounds of the fight, Opetaia will begin to get in the pocket and sit on the bigger man’s chest, unloading to body and head.

I am plumping for a knockout win for the Aussie between rounds 7 to 9, as the challenger eventually wilts.

*All prices correct at the time of writing.

 

 

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