Alain Vanackere, from 12 Round Promotions, confirmed Wednesday(Sept 12)that negotiations have been finalized for Bilal Laggoune to face his IBF Intercontinental mandatory challenger in Samoan/ Australian Jai Opetaia in Liege Belgium on October 20.
Bilal Laggoune, 23-1, is world ranked 11 by the IBF while Jai Opetaia, 16-0, is ranked 10 with the WBO.
Vanackere stated that while they acknowledge the rugged Australian will present a tough test, he is confident his charge will draw upon his superior experience to get across the line in this one. ‘”is tough and has fought a better level of opponents than his challenger and while he has the one loss on his record, he hasn’t been stopped in twenty five fights. When you look closely at Jai’s record you will see that this is his first 12 round fight and the longest he has gone in his career to date is nine rounds,”.
Vanackere added: On the other hand, this will be Bilal’s eighth twelve round fight and he has gone the distance in 4 of them. Bilal never underestimates his opponent and is confident his superior work rate and pressure he can apply will tire the young Aussie and that he can finish him off in the later rounds.”
Opetaia’s promoter Michael Francis of Xtreme Sports said that his fighter is looking forward to what will be his toughest test in his 16 fight career to date. “ Our team have been looking closely at Bilal Laggoune for some time now, and Jai is confident he can give a career best performance and cruise to victory” said Francis. “