Mairis Briedis Puts On Crocodile Dundee Hat For Title Defense In Australia
A challenge awaits 37-year-old Latvian star Mairis Briedis.
The fighter arrived in Australia for his lineal/IBF cruiserweight championship title defense versus Sydney’s Jai Opetaia, and he had a new trick up his sleeve. Briedis showed up dressed in an outfit reminiscent of Australian actor Paul Hogan’s famous character, Michael “Crocodile” Dundee.
The get up was a tribute to the late Arvids Blumentals, a Latvian-born soldier who was known as ‘Crocodile Harry’ during his time in Australia spent hunting crocodiles and opals.
Briedis has worn the hat all week, and it is one of several gimmicks. Not everyone is entertained by his antics, however. His attempt at pre-fight humor was not taken well by Jai Opetaia.
“All this shit, I don’t care about,” Opetaia said to local reporters. “It’s all stupid. All these f—’ crocodile hats, it don’t mean nothing to me. All that matters is that f—’ title.”
Briedis was more serious during the final press conference, which took place Thursday afternoon. This day was also Opetaia’s 27th birthday.
The defending champion is normally known for his goofy personality outside the ring, but here he was much more professional towards the challenger ten years his junior.
“Happy birthday and congratulations to your mother and father for having a [son] who now has a fight for the IBF cruiserweight title.” Briedis stated in offering birthday wishes to the first-time title challenger. “I think the fight will be high level. I hope we show all the world and that all the world will speak about this fight.”