Featured image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.
IBF and Ring Magazine cruiserweight champion Jai Opetaia (22-0, 17KOs) will mark his Matchroom Boxing debut against Manchester’s Jordan Thompson (15-0, 12KOs) at the OVA Arena on September 30th.
The Australian signed a co-promotional deal with Matchroom alongside Tasman Fighters in July.
Opetaia stunned former champion Mairis Breidis 13 months ago when he beat the Latvian by unanimous decision in Broadbeach, Australia.
The 28 year old suffered a fractured jaw in the process which has prevented him from fighting since – a hiatus prolonged further by Mateusz Masternak and Richard Riakporhe both withdrawing from scheduled purse bids at late notice in recent months.
The IBF responded by announcing Breidis as Opetaia’s next mandatory challenger but it is Thompson who first gets a shot at world honours next month.
Training out of Tony Sims’ Matchroom Boxing Gym in Brentwood, Thompson dropped and stopped Luke Watkins in April to claim his twelfth stoppage in fifteen outings.
The fight will see Thompson challenge for his first major title as a professional.
Scotney to defend super-bantamweight crown on the undercard
Newly-crowned IBF super-bantamweight champion Ellie Scotney (7-0) will also make her maiden title defence on the card against Argentinian Laura Soledad Griffa (20-8, 1KO).
Catford’s Scotney dominated former titleholder Cherneka Johnson in June to become world champion in her seventh pro outing.
Griffa meanwhile has predominantly fought in her native Argentina, most notably losing a unanimous decision to world bantamweight title challenger Shannon O’Connell in 2016.
Further down the card, Warrington lightweight Rhiannon Dixon (8-0, 1KO) challenges for the vacant European title against Norway’s Katharina Thanderz (16-1, 2KOs).
Dixon collected her first major title when she stopped Vicky Wilkinson in six to become Commonwealth champion in March while Thanderz previously challenged for the WBC super-featherweight title, losing in nine to Terri Harper in 2020.
Kent’s Cheavon Clarke (6-0, 5KOs) also faces Vasil Ducar 14-6-2, 10KOs) over ten rounds at cruiserweight.