Legal fight with world boxing champ not over: promoter
World boxing champion Jai Opetaia is still at risk of being stripped of his title due to a contractual dispute, a leading promoter says.
Mr Opetaia's legal team say they have won a major round of the International Boxing Federation cruiserweight champ's career in the Brisbane Supreme Court.
Justice Martin Burns on Friday dismissed Dean Lonergan's injunction application that sought to prevent Opetaia from terminating his contract with the promoter's company D & L Events.
Opetaia said outside court he was ready for the "next chapter" and looked forward to defending his title for the first time as early as next month with a new promoter.
However, Mr Lonergan says his legal fight with Opetaia is not over.
"Friday's decision ... was no knockout blow for Opetaia," Mr Lonergan said in a statement.
"The matter has a long way to go in the court."
Mr Lonergan said D & L Events would be proceeding with litigation, filing a statement of claim by Friday.
He said under IBF rules, until the contractual dispute was resolved Opetaia would be considered unavailable to defend his title and at risk of losing his championship belt.
"The wording in the IBF correspondence was unambiguous," Mr Lonergan said.
"Whether Opetaia signs with another promoter or not ... until his contractual dispute with D & L is resolved he will be considered unavailable to defend his title.
"He will be considered unavailable for the mandatory defence of his world title and remains at risk...of having recognition of his title withdrawn."
Opetaia still had 18 months left on his D & L Events contract, the court heard.
The boxer's management said the Supreme Court decision to dismiss the injunction application was a "complete loss" for Mr Lonergan.
"Under the IBF rules, Mr Opetaia could only relevantly be unavailable if he were under a legal impediment which could prevent the bout from taking place - Mr Opetaia is under no such legal impediment," Tasman Fighters management said in a statement on Monday.
Mr Lonergan gained prominence when he promoted Jeff Horn's famous 2017 world title upset win over boxing great Manny Pacquiao at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.
Opetaia claimed a gutsy world title win on the Gold Coast in July last year by defeating three-time champion Mairis Briedis of Latvia despite suffering a broken jaw in two places.
"It was pretty stressful but I had to stay positive," Opetaia said outside court on Friday of his legal battle.
"This next chapter is going to be huge and I can't wait to kick it off.
"It's the best I have felt the last couple of years."
Opetaia is undefeated in his 22-fight professional career, winning 17 by knockout.