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Did Tyson Fury get DROPPED in sparring ahead of Oleksandr Usyk fight? Jai Opetaia's team reveal exactly what happened after the cruiserweight left Gypsy King's camp after just five rounds

  • Jai Opetaia sparred Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia before returning to Australia 
  • Opetaia’s co-promoters have released a statement about his sparring with Fury
  • They have denied claims he dropped Fury during their five rounds of sparring

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Jai Opetaia’s co-promoters have released a statement denying claims the Australian cruiserweight dropped Tyson Fury during their sparring session last week. 

Opetaia – who will face Mairis Briedis for a second time on the Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk undercard – linked up with the Gypsy King during his camp in Saudi Arabia.

The 28-year-old joined Fury in Riyadh ahead of their respective fights on February 17 but only sparred five rounds before heading back to Australia.  

Opetaia made the decision to leave Saudi Arabia on Sunday morning as there was a lack of orthodox sparring available in Fury’s camp. 

However, rumours surrounding Opetaia’s departure began to circulate on social media – with many stating the Australian had dropped Fury in sparring. 

Jai Opetaia's co-promoters have released a statement denying claims the Australian cruiserweight dropped Tyson Fury in sparring earlier this week

Jai Opetaia’s co-promoters have released a statement denying claims the Australian cruiserweight dropped Tyson Fury in sparring earlier this week

Opetaia, who is known for his KO power, linked up with the Gypsy King at the start of the week

Opetaia, who is known for his KO power, linked up with the Gypsy King at the start of the week

Opetaia, who is known for his KO power, linked up with the Gypsy King at the start of the week

But, Opetaia co-promoters Tasman Fighters have taken to social media to set the record straight and deny the 28-year-old had floored Fury during training.  

His team wrote the following: ‘Jai Opetaia has recently returned from Saudi Arabia where he sparred and trained with Tyson Fury.

‘They were fantastic, competitive rounds and an incredible experience for Jai. However any talk of either boxer being dropped [in sparring] is not true.

‘Jai is now back in Australia finalising his preparation to defend his [Ring] title [against Mairis Briedis] and cannot wait to do so in Saudi Arabia.’

Opetaia’s bout with Briedis comes less than two months after his December 23 first-round knockout of Ellis Zorro on the ‘Day Of Reckoning’ undercard. 

Opetaia beat Briedis during their first bout, outpointing the three-time cruiserweight champion over twelve rounds in July 2022. 

Opetaia must defeat Briedis once again if he wants to become a world champion for a second time after being stripped of his IBF crown when he fought Zorro.

Opetaia - who will face Mairis Briedis for a second time on the Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk undercard - joined Fury's training camp in Saudi Arabia

Opetaia - who will face Mairis Briedis for a second time on the Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk undercard - joined Fury's training camp in Saudi Arabia

Opetaia made the decision to leave Saudi Arabia on Sunday morning as there was a lack of orthodox sparring available in Fury's camp

Opetaia made the decision to leave Saudi Arabia on Sunday morning as there was a lack of orthodox sparring available in Fury's camp

Opetaia – who will face Mairis Briedis for a second time on the Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk undercard – joined Fury’s training camp but left after just five rounds of sparring 

Rumours surrounding Opetaia's departure began to circulate on social media - with many stating the Australian had dropped Fury in sparring

Rumours surrounding Opetaia's departure began to circulate on social media - with many stating the Australian had dropped Fury in sparring

Rumours surrounding Opetaia’s departure began to circulate on social media – with many stating the Australian had dropped Fury in sparring 

Fury has been sparring Moses Itauma (7-0) Kevin Lerena (30-2) and Alexis Barriere (11-0)

Fury has been sparring Moses Itauma (7-0) Kevin Lerena (30-2) and Alexis Barriere (11-0)

Fury has been sparring Moses Itauma (7-0) Kevin Lerena (30-2) and Alexis Barriere (11-0)

Therefore, Opetaia – who was sidelined for the majority of 2023 while recovering from shoulder surgery – is eager to prepare well for the rematch.

As a result, he left Fury’s camp as the Gypsy King was prioritising southpaw sparring ahead of his undisputed title fight with Usyk on February 17 in Riyadh. 

Fury has been sparring Moses Itauma (7-0) Kevin Lerena (30-2) and Alexis Barriere (11-0) in the build-up to the Usyk fight. 

Meanwhile, Usyk has been facing Sanel Hasanovic (7-1-1) Vladimir Katsuk (5-1) Mariusz Wach (38-10) Emanuel Odiase and (1-0) Darren Sealy (0-1). 

Opetaia must defeat Briedis (pair pictured fighting above) once again if he wants to become a world champion for a second time after being stripped of his IBF crown when he fought Zorro

Opetaia must defeat Briedis (pair pictured fighting above) once again if he wants to become a world champion for a second time after being stripped of his IBF crown when he fought Zorro

Opetaia must defeat Briedis (pair pictured fighting above) once again if he wants to become a world champion for a second time after being stripped of his IBF crown when he fought Zorro

Opetaia won the IBF cruiserweight title by overcoming Briedis at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 2, 2022 (pictured above)

Opetaia won the IBF cruiserweight title by overcoming Briedis at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 2, 2022 (pictured above)

Opetaia won the IBF cruiserweight title by overcoming Briedis at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 2, 2022 (pictured above) 

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