Jai Opetaia favored for rematch win over Mairis Briedis in Saudi Arabia

Dean Etheridge
By , Updated on: May 12, 2024 08:00 PM
Jai Opetaia favored for rematch win over Mairis Briedis in Saudi Arabia

Jai Opetaia and Mairis Briedis clash for the vacant IBF Cruiserweight Championship on the undercard of Fury vs Usyk on Saturday. The fight is a rematch of their spectacular title showdown in 2022, and if itโ€™s half as good as the first contest, it could well upstage the main event in Saudi Arabia this weekend. In our latest boxing betting picks, we tell you who to get your money on.

  • What: IBF Cruiserweight Championship
  • Who: Jai Opetaia vs. Mairis Briedis
  • Where: Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • When: Saturday, May 18th, 2024
  • Ring Walks: 4 p.m ET

The big picture

Jai Opetaia and Mairis Briedis will meet on the Fury vs. Usyk undercard for the vacant IBF Cruiserweight title - you can read more about the main event in our Fury vs. Usyk betting picks and predictions.

Both Opetaia and Briedis have previously held this belt. Briedis won the title against Yuniel Dorticos in September 2020. He defended it once, beating Artur Mann before losing to Opetaia in July 2022.

Opetaia also defended the title once, against Jordan Thompson, in London in September 2023. The Aussie was then due to fight Briedis in December 2023, but he instead decided to vacate the belt and take an alternative fight against Ellis Zorro.

As a result, the IBF belt is now vacant.

Saturdayโ€™s fight is a rematch of the July 2022 tear-up between the two on the Gold Coast in Australia. On the night, Jai Opetaia won by unanimous decision, taking the IBF and the Ring Magazine cruiserweight titles from Briedis.

On paper, it sounded like a one-sided fight dominated by the Australian, with the judges scoring it 116โ€“112, 116โ€“112, and 115โ€“113. But it was anything but.

Brutal first fight

The fight was brutal, with both men sustaining injuries. Opetaia suffered a broken jaw in just the second round. But despite this, the Aussie scrapper still had the better of the opening exchanges.

After being on the receiving end of some punishment in the opening rounds, Briedis staged a late rally that saw him close the gap on the scorecards.

The late comeback wasnโ€™t enough, and Opetaia got the decision.

After putting on such a show in the first fight, both men are unlucky not to be the main event in their rematch. But being on the Fury vs Usyk undercard is no bad second prize.

Both men have an opportunity to showcase their skills to the entire world. And donโ€™t bet against this being the most entertaining fight of the night.

Jai Opetaia vs Mairis Briedis Betting

Unlike the Fury vs Usyk fight, there is a clear favorite in the Opetaia vs. Briedis betting. Jai Opetaia won the first fight and is -700 on the money line to defeat Mairis Briedis again. Briedis is +450 to upset the odds and gain his revenge on the Aussie.

On the totals line, over 9.5 is -115, and under 9.5 is -115. More boxing betting odds are available on our odds table. For our prices, we have only used the best betting sites for wagering on boxing.

Jai Opetaia vs. Mairis BriedisBovadaBetOnlineBetUS
Jai Opetaia-700-700-700
Mairis Briedis+450+450+450
Over 9.5 Rounds-115-115-115
Under 9.5 Rounds-115-115-115

Jai Opetaia Career Breakdown

Jai Opetaia has a professional fight record of 24-0. Nineteen of Opetaiaโ€™s 24 wins have come by knockout, with five wins coming by decision.

The 28-year-old fights from a southpaw stance. He is a big hitter with an excellent knockout record, currently ranked as the top active cruiserweight by Ring Magazine.

Jai Opetaia To beat Mairis Briedis
-700
BetOnline

Mairis Briedis Career Breakdown

Mairis Briedis has a professional fight record of 28-2. At 38 years of age, the Latvian is entering the twilight of his career. But as his previous fight against Opetaia showed, he can still mix it with the younger fighters in the heavier divisions.

Like Opetaia, Briedis has also fought at heavyweight. But itโ€™s down at cruiserweight where he truly found his level.

A massive 20 of his 28 wins have come by knockout, with only eight going the distance. His two losses came by decision. One we know was by unanimous decision to Opetaia. The other was a majority decision defeat against a certain Oleksandr Usyk in 2018.

Fighting from an orthodox stance, Briedis is the slightly smaller man. At 6ft 1in, he is giving away one inch in height to the Aussie. Opetaia also has a slightly longer reach at 76 inches. Briedis has 75.

Mairis Briedis To beat Jai Opetaia
+450
BetOnline

Jai Opetaia vs Mairis Briedis Picks and Predictions

Both of these guys have the power to knock each other out. Remarkably, their 2022 contest went the distance, a testament to the staying power of Briedis, who did well to hang in at the start of the fight.

Jai Opetaia has been compared to Oleksandr Usyk. He was even drafted in for Fury to spar against in the build-up for his unification bout. Furthermore, Opetaia is rumored to have knocked Fury out in sparring.

Unless Opetaia gets drawn into a slug fest with the Latvian, we believe his younger legs and more polished style will prevail. We also donโ€™t see 38-year-old Briedis lasting the distance this time around.

Our betting pick is for Jai Opetaia to win by KO/TKO/DQ at -138.

Jai Opetaia To beat Mairis Briedis by KO/TKO/DQ
-138
BetOnline

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Meet the author

Dean Etheridge

Dean Etheridge has over ten years of writing experience in the world of sports betting. Starting out as a hobby on his own soccer betting website, Dean has now seen his picks published across various affiliate sites along with The Sun and TalkSPORT where he writes regul...

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