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Australia has a new boxing world champion! Jai Opetaia upsets the odds to defeat Mairis Briedis

Australia has a NEW boxing world champion! Jai Opetaia shockingly breaks his jaw in the second round to go on to defeat Mairis Briedis to win the cruiserweight title

  • Australia has a new world boxing champion after Jai Operaia won on Saturday
  • The cruiserweight defeated Mairis Briedis to win the IBF World Championship
  • Opetaia braved a suspected broken jaw in the second round of the fight

Jai Opetaia has braved a suspected broken jaw to shock Latvian three-time champion Mairis Briedis to win the IBF and The Ring cruiserweight world titles on the Gold Coast.

The 27-year-old won a unanimous points decision – 116-112, 115-113, 116-112 – in a pulse-pounding 12-round contest that ended just 10 minutes before midnight on Saturday.

He withstood a pulsating final round from Briedis, with one of his last punches knocking out Opetaia’s mouthguard and appearing to snap his jaw.

Jai Opetaia became Australia's new world boxing champion on Saturday with a huge result

Jai Opetaia became Australia’s new world boxing champion on Saturday with a huge result

The 27-year-old defeated cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis on points on the Gold Coast

The 27-year-old defeated cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis on points on the Gold Coast

Opetaia suffered a suspected broken jaw in round 2 but fought on to take a big win

Opetaia suffered a suspected broken jaw in round 2 but fought on to take a big win

It means that Opetaia is the only current Australian male boxing world champion.

It had been five years to the day since Jeff Horn shocked Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium and his 2012 Olympic teammate followed suit, controlling the opening stages and defying the best of the 37-year-old in a brutal competition.

Briedis showed why only current heavyweight champion Oleksander Usyk had beaten him before in a 29-fight professional career when he emerged for the seventh round, closed his left eye and nose bled, and turned the tables with a series of corporate blows.

Back on par, he then thundered a punch through Opetaia’s defenses, losing the local hope in the final 80 seconds of the 10th round.

The Australian withstood a late flurry from the 37-year-old to hold onto the win

The Australian withstood a late flurry from the 37-year-old to hold onto the win

There were emotional scenes in the ring when Opetaia was proclaimed the new world champion

There were emotional scenes in the ring when Opetaia was proclaimed the new world champion

However, Opetaia recovered in the 11th round and both men traded blows in an epic final round before Opetaia raised his hand.

Earlier in the evening, Issac Hardman produced a nauseating first round knockout of Beau Hartas.

In response to an all-encompassing loss to Michael Zerafa, Hardman’s thunderous right-hand man knocked Hartas to the ground.

It left him motionless on the canvas for over a minute before moving and leaving the ring on his feet.

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