Jai Opetaia will make the first defence of his IBF and Ring Magazine Cruiserweight World Titles against Jordan Thompson on a huge night of World Championship boxing at the OVO Arena Wembley on Saturday September 30 that also sees IBF Super-Bantamweight ruler Ellie Scotney make the maiden defence of her World Title against Laura Soledad Griffa, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding Australia and New Zealand).
Opetaia (22-0 17 KOs) wrestled the IBF and Ring Magazine World Cruiserweight Titles away from Mairis Briedis on home turf with an outstanding display in Queensland, Australia in July 2022, outboxing the Latvian with a show of skill mixed with guts after breaking his jaw in both the second and final rounds.
The 28-year-old extended his unbeaten slate to 22 fights in the paid ranks on that famous night, landing World Title honours at the first attempt in a professional career that began in August 2015 after the imposing southpaw said goodbye to a glittering amateur stint that yielded gold in the World Junior Championships in 2011 and saw him become the youngest ever Australian Olympian fighter when he represented his country in at the 2012 Games in London.
He returns to London next month, putting his red and gold hardware on the line against Manchester’s undefeated contender Thompson (15-0, 12 KOs), who heads into his first shot at world honours on the back of a dominating sixth-round TKO win over Swindon’s Luke Watkins at the Cardiff International Arena back in Cardiff.
The 6' 7" powerhouse, who is trained by Tony Sims at the Matchroom Boxing Elite Gym in Essex, has won all five of his fights under the Matchroom Boxing banner since putting pen to paper on a multi-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn in June 2021, picking up the IBF European Title but outpointing Vasil Ducar at the Sheffield Arena in August 2022.
Catford’s 122lbs queen Scotney (7-0) returns to the arena where she was crowned IBF World Champion in June, comfortably outpointing Australia’s former champion Cherneka Johnson on the undercard of Sunny Edwards’ shutout points win over Andres Campos.
Argentina’s Griffa (20-8, 1 KO) gets her second shot at the IBF Super-Bantamweight after falling short in her challenge against Marcela Eliana Acuna in August 2018. ‘La Joya’, who fights out of Pehuajo in Buenos Aires, has also challenged for the IBO Super-Bantamweight and Featherweight Titles and has won both of her fights in 2023.
Dangerous Gravesend Cruiserweight Cheavon Clarke(6-0, 5 KOs) gets his first title shot – taking on former Chris Billam-Smith and Jordan Thompson opponent Vasil Ducar (14-6-2, 10 KOs) for the vacant IBF International Title and Warrington’s Rhiannon Dixon (8-0, 1 KO) meets Norway’s World Title challenger Katherina Thanderz (16-1, 2 KOs) for the vacant EBU European Lightweight crown.
Billericay Middleweight George Liddard (4-0, 3 KOs) and Eltham Flyweight Maiseyrose Courtney (4-0) have a quick turnaround after picking up wins on the Joshua vs. Helenius undercard at The O2 in London earlier this month, Watford Super-Flyweight Shannon Ryan (5-0) fights for the sixth time as a pro and Tony Sims-trained Middleweight Jimmy Sains makes his professional debut.
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OVO Arena Wembley in Wembley Park
You know you’re in London’s most iconic live music venue when the echoes of “Hello Wembley!” are ringing through your ears. OVO Arena Wembley has been a destination for music and live entertainment for over 80 years and it’s not slowing down. With over 100 events every year and over one million visitors each year passing through its legendary doors, OVO Arena Wembley (formerly known as The SSE Arena, Wembley) has something for everyone, from the most in-demand gigs from a hot new artist to classic once-in-a-lifetime performances from your favourite band.