Kalle Sauerland: Mairis Briedis wants Jai Opetaia again, I'm Mr Rematch clause

Just over a year ago former cruiserweight king Mairis Briedis relinquished his status as the division’s number 1 to Jai Opetaia in a hard fought contest in the Gold Coast, Australia. 

Boxing fans have not seen either man enter the ring since the contest where Opetaia received a double broken jaw. The undefeated Australian had been in a legal dispute with his then promoters, but has since agreed a co-promotional agreement with Tasman Fighters and Matchroom. 

Briedis has been seen regularly at his promoters side-gig Misfits and has long been chasing YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul in a highly constructed social media campaign. The three-time world champion has even had an unsuccessful swing at politics in his native Latvia. He was due to appear in Edinburgh this Friday to shake off the ring-rust but the fight was cancelled last week.

His promoter Kalle Sauerland spoke exclusively to ProBox TV to give an update on the former World Boxing Super Series winner.

“He had a bit of a setback in camp, and the point with Edinburgh was to get him out.” Sauerland said. “He called me up and said ‘can we just wait until the big one.’”

The big one?

“There are few things actually.” Sauerland answered. “There are two different [big] one’s actually. One is actually at cruiserweight and there is another interesting opportunity, let's say elsewhere.”

I posed the question of a move to the partially-formed bridgerweight division due to a rumour from the east. 

“No, I don’t do bridgerweight.” He replied with his arms stretched. “I’ll probably end up doing bridgerweight one day now, so you’ve got the sound bite for when I’m running around saying ‘bridgerweight world championship! What a fucking great title!’ I’m sure you will pull up the clip. No, there is something bigger.”

Opetaia and Briedis had been scheduled for a contracted rematch in the result of the champion losing his titles. However, word has gone quiet since the fight. 

“Yeah, an Opetaia rematch would be interesting wouldn’t it?” Sauerland said thoughtfully. “I always put rematch clauses [in my fighters contracts], I’m Mr Rematch clause. I’m Mr Option and I’m Mr Rematch clause. In fact, you fight one of my fighters and I will own you.” 

Sauerland stopped with his wide grin and began to laugh at his recently created alter-ego.

“That was a joke, a pun.” He continued. “But yes, I’m quite famous in the business for putting in a few rematch clauses.”

 A year since the bout took place, would the rematch clause still be valid? I asked.

“I believe he can apply for a voluntary [to avoid the rematch for now]” Sauerland added. “I think he has been ordered to fight [Richard] Riakporhe. We will watch that situation closely. He does want Opetaia again.

“He’s still as mad as ever. He calls me 50 times a day, he’s in love with the sport and he is such a nice, loveable guy. But he is mad, mad mad mad, about the sport. He loves it! He’s a top boy.”