McGuigan: Okolie Deserves More Exposure

Shane McGuigan believes promoter Eddie Hearn could do a better job of getting his WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie more exposure.

‘The Sauce’ linked up with trainer McGuigan in May 2019 and the pair have gone on to European and world honours in just six fights. 

Okolie, unbeaten in 17 starts, makes the second defence of his belt on Sunday, February 27 at London’s O2 Arena against Poland’s Michal Cieslak live on DAZN.

McGuigan fully expects his towering cruiserweight star to beat the WBO number two contender inside the distance. He then hopes a unification battle against the IBF champion and number one cruiserweight Mairis Briedis can be made.

“I’m not Lawrence Okolie’s promoter. Eddie’s got his own ideas. I know that fight can be made, and it hasn’t been made,” McGuigan told Boxing Social’s Rob Tebbutt.

“We have to see it. I want it to happen, Lawrence wants it to happen. It’s different networks, different promoters involved but you can get things done. I get it. Every promoter has their ideas of what they want that person to do.

“Eddie’s doing a fantastic job with so many fighters… he hasn’t done the best job with Lawrence from an exposure standpoint. Lawrence, he can rap, not the best, he’ll hate me for saying it, but he still puts himself out there to do it. He puts himself out there to take fights like Matty Askin straight away. That was too soon but he still won and now he’s won a world title. 

“He’s looked good in his last three-four fights and he’s winning and he’s knocking people out and he’s up for selling a fight. If you put him and Mairis Brieidis head-to-head he’s going to tell him what he thinks, he’s going to tell him how he’s going to knock him out, he’s going to play the game and also, I believe he’s able to go through and do it. Hopefully we can get that fight made. It would be a shame to see Briedis stepping up to heavyweight or even Lawrence stepping up to heavyweight and none of them gets that fight.”

Click here to see what McGuigan thinks of Mairis Briedis’ new tattoo, those Ben Davison comments, the future for his other stars including Daniel Dubois, Ellie Scotney, Chris Billam-Smith and much more.