“Absolute Joke”: Renowned Boxing Figure Joins Fans in Slamming IBF’s “Putrid” Decision That Led Cruiserweight Champion Jai Opetaia to Relinquish His Title

Published 12/19/2023, 9:22 AM EST

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Jai Opetaia, the undefeated IBF cruiserweight champion, took to social media to announce his decision to relinquish the title. This choice was prompted by a recent IBF ruling. They had slated for Opetaia to face the mandatory challenger, Mairis Briedis, in a rematch. Since Briedis was recovering from an injury, both Briedis and Opetaia decided to postpone their rematch. As a result, the current champ decided to make use of this opportunity and face Ellis Zorro at the Day of Reckoning Event in Riyadh, much to the dismay of the IBF.

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The highly anticipated event, headlined by Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, is a huge draw for Jai Opetaia. However, the IBF, in a strange move, demanded that he only face Briedis as his next opponent, which meant giving up the big event and waiting for the Latvian former champ to recover. Angered by the decision, Jai Opetaia relinquished his title. As the post of his decision went viral, many, including a well-known figure in the boxing world, decided to condemn the actions of the IBF.

Fans support Jai Opetaia against the decision of the IBF

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Dan Rafael, the renowned journalist and former writer for ESPN, while retweeting Opetaia’s post, slammed the IBF for their decision, terming it “nonsense.” “Sanctioning body nonsense of the highest order. Nobody is aggrieved. Champion is OK with the plan. Mandatory is also. So are the promoters. Who’s being hurt by this? Putrid decision that makes no senses by the IBF,” wrote Rafael. Soon fans jumped on, condemning the IBF for their stance with one fan stating, “awful decision by the IBF. Mandatory challenger not fit to fight on the card. Absolute joke yet, charlo has held his belt for two years.”

Another fan talked about how this decision would only end up hurting the IBF rather than anybody else, since the fans might turn their attention away from their fights.

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One fan was relieved that at least the IBF wouldn’t get any cut from the boxer’s biggest payday.

A fan raised the question of how the mandatory spot was given to Mairis Briedis when he had already lost his fight against the champion and hadn’t fought anybody since.

An X user stated that because of such antics, the popularity of boxing is declining.

Meanwhile, Jai Opetaia was saddened about relinquishing his title, for which he had worked so hard.

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Opetaia wouldn’t give up his belt if he didn’t have to

Talking about the decision to give up his title, Opetaia wrote, “I fought through absolute agony to win that belt and it saddens me to relinquish it.” He went on to add, “But the fact is, Briedis isn’t ready to fight on Dec. 23 and I need to stay active. I simply can’t turn down a career-high payday.

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Well, it seems the fans support his decision to opt for the Zorro fight, and not get stuck behind the belt, putting a stoppage to his career. They are equally angry with IBF’s stance on the matter. However, what are your thoughts about IBF’s decision? Let us know in the comments section.

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Written by:

Chirag Radhyan

1,837Articles

One take at a time

My passion for sweet science began at the tender age of 12, a gift from my father who introduced me to the legendary persona of Muhammad Ali. In my heart, 'The Rumble in the Jungle' still remains to be the pinnacle of sporting history. Over the years, my fervor for boxing remained intact, although life's commitments sometimes deviated me from being a hardcore fan of the sport.
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Edited by:

Gokul Pillai

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