''I Want It All'' - Okolie Targets Mairis Briedis And Cruiserweight Domination

'The Sauce' says he'd be willing to go to Latvia to fight Briedis in his quest to unify the division
20:53, 24 Mar 2021

Lawrence Okolie looked sensational when he stopped Krzysztof Glowacki inside six rounds at the SSE Arena last weekend, but ‘the Sauce’ isn’t stopping there and says he wants to become the undisputed king in the division with IBF and The Ring champion Mairis Briedis at the top of his hit list. 

Speaking on the Betfred Boxing Show, Okolie told hosts Dom McGuinness and Anthony Crolla that he wants to fight the very best and believes he has even more to show.

“Obviously the preference would be Briedis because he’s Ring magazine, so, for me, I want that accolade,” said the 28-year-old.

“I think it’s amazing winning the WBO and once I’ve retired I think I’ll be able to take it all in a lot more. Me, knowing there’s a WBC, an IBF, a Ring Magazine... it’s like ‘I want it all.’ I want to be the guy that they look at in the division and say ‘That’s the guy to beat.”

“Right now they say that about Briedis, and it’s annoying. A lot of times people haven’t seen what I’m capable of from before this fight [Glowacki]. 

“I was sparring AJ, Dillian [Whyte], Tyson Fury - when I’m in these gyms, in these camps, they’re going, ‘Oh, this guy’s special, he’s gonna go all the way’ and I just want to show that on the main stage against the best people.”

Okolie Stops Glowacki, Matchroom
Okolie Stops Glowacki, Matchroom

Briedis is a slick operator at cruiserweight, winning three world titles and racking up a solid 27-1 (19) record, with his only defeat coming to the undefeated Oleksandr Usyk, but Okolie says he knows what it takes to beat him.

“He’s six foot, 6’1’’, good variety of punches, heavy-handed but is he the quickest with his feet? No. Is he the most explosive? No. What does he do when he fights a tall boxer? Goes backwards. 

“So I think stylistically, it’s a very winnable fight. It’s difficult, because he’s going to go for it, and it might be in Riga, but of all the champions who are out there now, I think I have what it takes to beat them.”

Okolie is yet to fight outside of the UK as a professional, but the former-Olympian says he has no qualms about facing Briedis in his native Latvia. When asked about making a trip to the nation’s capital, where Briedis is a bona fide superstar, Okolie said, “I wouldn’t have any problems with that at all. I’m sure we’ll have a good team out there, to make sure there’s no funny business, but as long as you weigh in, have 36 hours or whatever to refuel, and then get into a ring - yeah, i’d be more than happy.

“Obviously, I’ve had some fights that haven’t been the most entertaining, so I’m sure that the positive, if we’re going to take a positive from that, is that I’m not really the type of person to get fixated by a crowd. So whether the crowd’s booing, cheering, spurring my opponent on, it isn’t really of issue to me. I’m focused when I’m in the ring, it just is what it is."

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