IBF world cruiserweight champion, Jai Opetaia (22-0), has become a promotional free agent after the Brisbane supreme court overruled an application by the promoter, Dean Lonergan, to extend Opetaia’s promotional contract. A judge dismissed Lonergan’s application to extend the contract, ultimately making the IBF world cruiserweight champion a free agent to pursue other promotional opportunities.
“We’re excited to start the next chapter,” Mr Opetaia said outside court on Friday.
“We’re happy to put this behind us and move forward.
“It’s been pretty stressful. This next chapter is going to be huge, I just can’t wait to kick it off.”
Lonergan instigated the legal battle following Jai’s attempts to leave Lonergan’s promotional firm, D&L events, following the promotional company losing its television deal with Fox Sports (Australia). D&L claim that Opetaia has eighteen months remaining on his promotional contract following his win against Mairis Briedis in July of 2022, claiming the IBF in the process.
Barrister Franco Corsaro representing Opetaia said in court that there was no “language of mandate” in his client’s agreement, telling the court it was not clear how many fights Mr Opetaia was required to fight while under the contractual agreement.
“It simply doesn’t work,” he said of the contract.