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Opetaia dons gloves again after Olympic debut

Date

Daniel Lane

Australia's Jai Opetaia (blue) takes on Teymur Mammadov at the London Olympics.

Australia's Jai Opetaia (blue) takes on Teymur Mammadov at the London Olympics. Photo: Pat Scala

Teenager Jai Opetaia, the youngest heavyweight to box at an Olympic Games, said despite being blooded at the London Games he did not expect an easy time at the Oceania Youth championships which start on Saturday in Tahiti.

The 17-year-old, who represented Australia at the London Olympics, predicted none of his opponents would be overawed by his reputation which grew substantially at the Games after he came within one point of defeating the eventual bronze medallist – and world No.1 ranked Russian – Teymur Mammadov.

"I have more to lose in Tahiti than the other guys,” Opetaia said.

"They've trained hard, put in a lot of hard work and dedication like I have and I'm looking forward to some tough fights."

Opetaia, who said he planned to win the gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, will also compete at the World Youth Titles in Thailand later this year.

Last year, as a 16-year-old, he declared his arrival as a fighter of promise when he won the cruiserweight division's title at the same tournament.

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