The sport’s reigning lineal heavyweight and cruiserweight champions will not only share a card but a training camp as well. has confirmed that Jai Opetaia will next appear on the undercard of the February 17 Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk heavyweight championship in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

A challenger was not immediately identified as this goes to publication. Boxing Scene has learned, however, that Opetaia will head to Fury’s training camp this weekend to spar with the sport’s reigning heavyweight king leading up to their separate championship title defenses.

The placement marks a quick turnaround for Sydney’s Opetaia (24-0, 19KOs), who will attempt the third defense of the true cruiserweight championship.

This bout comes less than two months after his December 23 first-round knockout of England’s Ellis Zorro (17-1, 7KOs) on the ‘Day Of Reckoning’ undercard also in Riyadh. All three title defenses will now come within a span of less than five months after having sat out much of 2023 while recovering from shoulder surgery.

Opetaia made headlines leading up to the Zorro fight, mainly surrounding the circumstances which forced him to relinquish the IBF cruiserweight title.

He was previously ordered to face Latvia’s Mairis Briedis, whom he outpointed over twelve furious rounds in July 2022 to dethrone the three-time cruiserweight champ. The two sides could not reach a deal for what would have been a rematch, which prompted the IBF to order a purse bid.

However, Opetaia already committed to fighting on the Day of Reckoning show, to which Briedis did not object on the condition he still get his mandatory title shot within the deadline period. The IBF nixed the idea, given that Opetaia already used up a voluntary exception when he faced and defeated England’s Jordan Thompson last September.

Ironically, the February 17 date will mark Opetaia’s third fight since Briedis last appeared in the ring in their July 2022 thriller. Briedis is next due to face Mexico’s Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez for the vacant title. The date is pending the outcome of a scheduled January 16 purse bid hearing.

A favorable amount of sympathy was granted to the unbeaten 28-year-old—who represented Australia as a teenager in the 2012 London Olympics—who retained his standing as the recognized cruiserweight champion.

An added layer should come from his time that will be spent in the presence of England’s Fury (34-0-1, 24KOs), who faces Ukraine’s Usyk (21-0, 14KOs) in a bid to crown the sport’s first undisputed heavyweight champion in 25 years. Fury gets something out of it as well in a 6'2" southpaw sparring partner who roughly matches Usyk's physical dimensions.

Fury survived a major scare but couldn’t avoid negative press as his far too competitive and razor-thin victory over Francis Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion who made his pro boxing debut. Their October 28 bout did not come with Fury’s WBC title on the line, but he nearly suffered his first defeat as he was dropped in the third round. Fury rallied to escape with a ten-round, split decision victory.

It was theorized that his preparation for that bout miserably paled in comparison to the work put in for past camps. Fury regained his place atop the heavyweight division with a February 2020 lineal/WBC championship-winning stoppage over Deontay Wilder. Three title defenses have followed, all inside the distance.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox