Jai Opetaia’s long-awaited world-title defence has copped an additional delay, the Australian champion blasting Mateusz Masternak for “losing his time” after the necessary challenger’s last-minute refusal to combat.
Gold Coast-based Opetaia hasn’t fought since his stoic upset of Mairis Briedis final July, when he endured 10 rounds with a badly damaged jaw to say the IBF and The Ring cruiserweight belts in one of many fights of the 12 months.
Restoration from that combat, subsequent accidents and an ongoing authorized dispute between his supervisor and former promoter have delayed Opetaia’s (22-0) return to the ring.
The bullish 27-year-old thought he had lastly sewn up a defence, till Polish veteran Masternak’s withdrawal on the ultimate day of the negotiation window.
Masternak will as an alternative chase a combat with England’s new WBO champion Chris Billam-Smith.
Undefeated Brit Richard Riakporhe (16-0), the IBF and WBO No.2-ranked contender and No.5 in WBC, now has till July 14 to barter phrases with Opetaia till a handbag bid is named.
A pissed off Opetaia had earlier known as out Billam-Smith for a unification bout, slammed his Polish would-be rival.
“What a waste of time,” he tweeted.
“(Masternak) was once a superb fighter, now he is a has-been.
“I’d’ve retired him. If you don’t need the smoke, why waste the previous few months speaking s***?”
Minimal weight Alex Winwood’s push to change into the quickest Australian to a world boxing title continues when he fights Reyneris Gutierrez in Perth on Friday.
The 25-year-old Olympian from Western Australia is undefeated in two skilled begins and would wish to elevate the belt by his sixth combat to trump Jeff Fenech’s effort.
Already ranked No.12 and No.13 within the IBF and WBC rankings respectively, Winwood could make additional floor if he does the enterprise towards the WBC’s No.5 at Metro Metropolis Stadium.
“I rise to the problem and feed off pushing myself and my boundaries,” he stated.
“I used to be instructed I used to be insane for preventing a former world champion (Indonesia’s Tibo Monabesa) in my second combat.
“The higher opponent they put in entrance of me, the higher I’m.”
New Zealand middleweight Andrei Mikhailovich is only one victory from a world-title tilt after the IBF ordered him to face Germany’s Denis Radovan in an eliminator for his or her vacant belt.
If Russia-born Mikhailovich (20-0) wins he’ll combat the victor of Esquiva Falcao and Vincenzo Gualtieri as early as December.
That pair will combat for the belt vacated by Gennady Golovkin, with the IBF requiring any winner of a vacant title to defend it inside six months.
Australian Related Press