Cruiserweight king Mairis Briedis gives Boxing Social his take on Lawrence Okolie’s victory against Krzysztof Glowacki and the prospects of staying at 200lbs to fight the newly-crowned WBO champion…
By general consensus – as well as in the view of the IBF and The Ring magazine – Mairis Briedis is the cruiserweight champion of the world. Having watched Lawrence Okolie seize the WBO portion of the title via a sixth-round stoppage victory against Krzysztof Glowacki last weekend, the 36-year-old Latvian admits he is open to offers to defend his titles against the Briton. He would also be willing to delay a mooted move to heavyweight to make the fight happen.
“We’ll think about the Okolie fight and get a strategy in place,” Briedis told Boxing Social on Tuesday night. “Okolie is very loud. He talks a lot. Of course, people are interested in this fight and ask me about Okolie. So I’m thinking about this fight.
“Of course at cruiserweight I feel I have proved everything I have to prove. That’s why we are thinking about fighting a heavyweight.
“But if Matchroom and Eddie Hearn make an interesting offer we could stay at cruiserweight for one more fight. It would be a big fight in England. It’s for my promoters Sauerland to discuss with Matchroom.”
Briedis then gave his take on Okolie’s performance against Glowacki, who the Latvian himself stopped in three rounds in 2019 in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series.
“Okolie prepared very well but I do not think Glowacki prepared well in terms of technique and strategy. He stayed within Okolie’s distance all the time. He didn’t change the tempo of the fight.”
In many respects a Brieidis-Okolie fight makes sense, as the Latvian has connections in the UK. He defeated Simon Vallily on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s WBC cruiserweight title defence against BJ Flores at the Echo Arena, Liverpool in October 2016, and has twin sons from a previous relationship who live in England and “speak Latvian with an English accent”.
He admits he would relish fighting in the UK again. “I’d love to fight in England,” he stresses. “There are a lot of Latvian fans there and it’s the country where boxing was born. There are many great boxers there. I like it in England and to fight there again would be a great honour for me.”
With a chuckle, Briedis also points out – perhaps for the benefit of Okolie – that he has kept in fighting shape since his hugely impressive victory against Yuniel Dorticos last September.
“I’ve been resting a little bit and eating,” he laughs. “But I’m in shape like normal. My condition is good.”