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Jai Opetaia vs Jordan Thompson, Ellie Scotney vs Laura Griffa official for September 30th at Wembley

Three different mandatory challengers fell through for Jai Opetaia, two voluntarily and one due to injury

After going 0-for-3 in securing a mandatory defense, IBF cruiserweight champ Jai Opetaia will go the voluntary route when he meets Jordan Thompson atop a September 30th Matchroom show at Wembley.

Opetaia (22-0, 17 KO), out of action since powering through a broken jaw to outlast MAiris Briedis in July of last year, saw both Mateusz Masternak and Richard Riakporhe withdraw from purse bids at the 11th hour. This teed up Briedis for a rematch, but the Latvian vet is reportedly nursing an injury of his own.

So, in comes European champ Thompson (15-0, 12 KO). The 30-year-old “Troublesome” was last seen stopping Luke Watkins in April, making this a considerable step up in class. Considering the circumstances, though, this seems pretty decent for a month’s notice.

“I have been waiting too long for someone to challenge me and now we finally have a fight,” said Opetaia. “Thank you Jordan for stepping up but I hope you are ready!”

“Opetaia is the recognized number one in the division and the best guy out there and that’s why he’s the one I want,” said Thompson, a Manchester-born and bred contender who now lives and trains in London. “This is my time now and the world will see that on September 30th. I ain’t never been one to just take part, I’m a winner, I’m going to win.”

The evening’s other title bout sees Ellie Scotney (7-0, 0 KO) make her inaugural defense against Laura Griffa (20-8, 1 KO). Though Argentina boasts a remarkably deep roster of skilled women, but “La Joya” is not among the cream; she just broke free from a six-fight losing streak in March, so she looks a significantly lesser threat than Cherneka Johnson.

“Winning a World Title is every fighter’s dream but now I want more,” said Scotney. “I want to prove myself the best Super-Bantamweight in the world, but a true champion also has to be willing to defend her title. I wanted to stay active and getting to defend the belt in the same venue I was crowned World Champion gives me the ideal opportunity to show that there are levels to this sport On September 30 I will show just that.”

“I am very excited to be fighting for the World Title for a second time,” said Griffa. “Ellie Scotney is a very good and skilful boxer, but she doesn’t have the heart and toughness that I do. I am a true warrior and will bring war to London September. I will break her down bring the World Title back home to Argentina.”

In other action, Cheavon Clarke (6-0, 5 KO) fights Vasil Ducar (14-6-2, 10 KO) for an IBF trinket, Rhiannon Dixon (8-0, 1 KO) meets former interim titlist Katharina Thanderz (16-0, 2 KO) in a much better-matched women’s bout, and TBA battles a gender-neutral gauntlet that includes Shannon Ryan (5-0, 0 KO)

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