Mairis Briedis once again arrived comfortably inside the cruiserweight limit for a title fight.
The three-time and defending IBF cruiserweight titlist arrived at a fit and ready 199 pounds (translated from his announced weight of 90.3 kg.) for his title defense versus Sydney’s Jai Opetaia (21-0, 17KOs) this Saturday on the road at Gold Coast Convention Centre in the Gold Coast suburb of Broadbeach, Australia. Opetaia was well under the limit, sporting the bottom half of a track suit as he hit the scales at a ripped and lean 198.4 pounds (90 kg.) for his first title challenge.
Briedis (28-1, 20KOs) has never weighed heavier than 199 ½ in seven major title fights spanning three reigns. The 37-year-old Latvian arrived in remarkable shape for the second defense of his third title reign, only slightly heavier than his consistent weight range of 198 ¼-198 ¾ pounds over his past four fights.
Saturday’s bout—which will air live on ESPN+ in the U.S. and on Australia Main Event Pay-Per-View—marks Briedis’ first career trip to Australia, the eighth country he will fight in during his 13-year pro career.
Opetaia has spent all but two career bouts in his native Australia, whom he proudly represented as a 16-year-old in the 2012 London Olympics. He was the youngest Australian boxer ever to compete on that stage, having since largely remained at home since turning pro in 2015. The lone exceptions came in an April 2016 trip to Los Mochis, Mexico and a February 2017 win in Apia, Samoa.
The 27-year-old southpaw last fought in a third-round knockout of Daniel Russell last December in Queensland’s Fortitude Valley, a little more than an hour from the beachfront location for Saturday’s championship fight.
Briedis previously defended his belt in a third-round knockout of Artur Mann last October in his hometown of Riga, Latvia.
Below are the weights for the rest of the undercard.
Faris Chevalier (13-1, 7 KOs), Brisbane, Queensland, 174 ½ pounds (79.15 kg) vs. Conor Wallace (8-1, 6 KOs), Fortitude Valley, Queensland, 174.4 pounds (79.1 kg)—10 rounds, light heavyweight
Joel Camilleri (22-7-1, 10KOs), Brisbane, Queensland, 153.2 pounds (69.5 kg) vs. Koen Mazoudier (9-2, 4 KOs), Blacktown, NSW, 153 ¾ pounds (69.75 kg)—10 rounds, junior middleweight
Taylah Robertson (5-1, 1 KO), Brisbane, Queensland, 114.9 pounds (52.1 kg) vs. Yoselin Fernandez (11-1, 5 KOs), Caracas, Venezuela, 125.9 pounds (57.1 kg), 10 rounds, junior bantamweight
Dana Coolwell (7-2, 5 KOs), Beerwah, Queensland, 125.7 pounds (57 kg) vs. Lorenz Ladrada (11-2-1, 3 KOs), Malitbog, Philippines, 125.3 (56.85kg) pounds—8 rounds, featherweight
Isaac Hardman (12-1, 10KOs), Brisbane, Queensland, 160 pounds (72.6 kg) vs. Beau Hartas, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 159 ½ pounds (72.35 kg)—10 rounds, middleweight
David Nyika (3-0, 2KOs), Hamilton, New Zealand, 199.8 pounds (90.65kg) vs. Louis Marsters (1-2, 1KO), Melbourne, 199 ¾ pounds (90.6kg)—4 rounds, cruiserweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox