Once the IBF cruiserweight trinket was in his possession, Jai Opetaia was convinced that it would remain with him for practically a lifetime. Alright, that might be a bit hyperbolic but Opetaia couldn’t envision a single soul beating him for his title.

Mairis Briedis, the man Opetaia defeated to become a champion, doesn’t agree with that statement. Considering how close their first showdown was, Briedis was placed as Opetaia’s mandatory challenger. However, abiding by those rules became practically impossible once Opetaia agreed to travel to Saudi Arabia for life-changing money to take on Ellis Zorro.  

The sanctioning body wasted no time, stripping Opetaia of their title before allowing him to do as he pleased. The acrimony that filled the 28-year-old was used as fuel. And, unfortunately for Zorro, it was all taken out on him.

In just one round, Zorro was left looking up at the ceiling lights. A stoic Opetaia simply stood on the top ropes and shrugged his shoulders.

By and large, Opetaia (24-0, 19 KOs) is viewed as the best cruiserweight in the world, but he no longer has the championship hardware to prove it. Going after Briedis makes a ton of sense, but Opetaia doesn’t appear interested in sharing the ring with him. At least not now.

For as good as Opetaia is, he only knows what the IBF title feels like sitting around his waist. At this point, he wants to feel the weight of another belt.

“I want that WBO,” said Opetaia during an interview with Boxing Social.

To a certain extent, wanting the WBO title is somewhat of a call-out to Chris Billiam-Smith. The 33-year-old Brit scored a lopsided victory over Lawrence Okolie to become a champion and doesn’t plan on giving up said title any time soon.

Billiam-Smith is crafty, has sneaky power, and also believes that he can’t be beat. All of those superlatives, however, are extraneous as Opetaia made it clear that grabbing that belt is his main focus.

“I want that WBO.”