Jai Opetaia is aware of the 2 recent scars on his ribs are “pretty much bullseyes” for Mairis Briedis.
However the cruiserweight boxer has invited the Latvian world champion to focus on them in subsequent Saturday’s world title struggle for the IBF and The Ring belts on the Gold Coast Conference Centre.
“It was pretty ****ing painful,” Opetaia informed AAP of the moment his punch in a sparring session tore the cartilage from his ribs.
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“It was a big injury; I have two battle scars now … they’re pretty much bullseyes for him, but we’re ready.
“I am match and powerful and there isn’t any ache there, so let’s get it on.”
Opetaia, 26, made history when he qualified for the 2012 Olympics at just 16.
A low-key professional career has progressed without a slip-up, Opetaia undefeated and managing 17 stoppages in 21 wins.
His rib injury and a bout of COVID-19 for Briedis have forced this fight’s date to be changed twice, coincidentally now set to fall exactly five years after Jeff Horn shocked Manny Pacquiao just up the road at Suncorp Stadium.
Victory against the hardened 37-year-old would see Opetaia emerge from the shadows of former amateur mate Tim Tszyu and recently dethroned George Kambosos Jnr as Australia’s only current male world boxing world champion.
“I’ve ticked all of the packing containers, received to do every part actually younger and I am nonetheless solely 26,” he stated.
“I knew from my first struggle once I was eight years outdated that I used to be able to combating the most effective on this planet and I am virtually there.
“Now I get to prove to everyone what I’ve always known.
“My time (within the highlight) will come; as soon as I win a world title I will be the one one and it will communicate for itself.”
Briedis (28-1) has beaten Marco Huck, Krzysztof Glowacki, Manuel Charr, and Yuniel Dorticos, the five victories coming since his only loss in 2018 to current heavyweight champion Oleksander Usyk.
The 37-year-old touched down on the Gold Coast this week in terrific shape but, with Pacquiao’s shock loss in Brisbane on the mind, wary of the task.
“All people who comes into Australia, it is a gamble,” he stated.
“As a vacationer, very, very good nation, like Miami, however this isn’t enterprise for me; it is my love, what I do, my life.”