Home » Australian boxing world champions: Which Aussies currently hold world titles? | Sporting News Australia

Australian boxing world champions: Which Aussies currently hold world titles? | Sporting News Australia

Australian boxing is enjoying a renaissance on the world stage at the moment.

It seems like every month in 2023 has featured an Aussie fighting for big honours in front of an international audience.

Three Aussies can currently count themselves as major world champions – holding either a WBC, WBA, WBO or IBF belt, while one holds the prestigious Ring title, recognising them as the best fighter in their respective divisions.

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We take a look at which Australians currently hold belts, how they won them and when they’re defending their crowns.

Current Australian boxing world champions – Men

Jai Opetaia

Titles: The Ring cruiserweight world championship

Champion since: July 2, 2022

Defences: 2

Next fight: Mairis Briedis (May 18, Riyadh)

Opetaia etched his name into Australian sporting folklore when he overcame a badly broken jaw to defeat Mairis Briedis on the Gold Coast.

The southpaw showcased his sublime boxing skills as well as his otherworldly toughness to take the IBF and The Ring titles off the Latvian.

Opetaia cemented his claim as the world’s best cruiserweight when he dished out a vicious beatdown to six-foot-seven Englishman Jordan Thompson in London.

In his first title defence, Opetaia got Thompson out of there early in the fourth round, looking better than ever in doing so.

Despite being forced to vacate his IBF belt prior to his next fight against Ellis Zorro, Opetaia looked every bit the man to beat at cruiserweight when icing the Englishman in the first round in Saudi Arabia.

Opetaia will now rematch Briedis as the as the chief support to Tyson Fury versus Oleksandr Usyk, which has been rescheduled to May 18 after the Englishman suffered a cut in sparring ahead of the original date of February 17.

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Jason Moloney

Titles: WBO bantamweight world championship

Champion since: May 10, 2023

Defences: 1

Next fight: Yoshiki Takei (May 6, Tokyo)

Having twice fought for a world title and come up short, Jason Moloney achieved a lifelong dream when he outclassed Vincent Astrolabio to claim a majority decision victory.

Moloney’s win was made all the more impressive when he revealed he had suffered an injury to his right hand early in the fight.

His first title defence saw him head to Quebec, Canada to take on America’s Saul Sanchez in what turned out to be an early contender for Fight of the Year for 2024.

The two combatants went at it in a back and forth war, with Moloney eventually doing enough to get the nod on two judges’ cards, seeing him retain the belt via majority decision.

Up next for the Victorian is a trip to Japan to take on 8-0 knockout artist and former kickboxing sensation Yoshiki Takei.

Current Australian boxing world champions – Women

Skye Nicolson

Title: WBC featherweight world championship

Champion since: April 6, 2024

Defences: 0

Next fight: TBC

Nicolson made the big call to forge on with her professional career, rather than return to the amateurs in pursuit of Olympic gold, and it paid almost immediate dividends.

The classy southpaw scored a dominant unanimous decision victory over Sabrina Maribel Perez in Tijuana to claim the interim WBC title.

She then defended the it with a convincing win over Lucy Wildheart in Dublin, recording her first stoppage win as a pro after her opponent’s corner threw the towel in during the ninth round.

Nicolson upgraded her belt to the full title in Las Vegas when she scored a near-shutout unanimous decision victory over Sarah Mahfoud.

The Queenslander will now continue to chase a fight with former undisputed champion Amanda Serrano.