In the opinion of most fans, Mairis Briedis is the best cruiserweight out there right now. Beaten only by Oleksandr Usyk (in a close fight, with Usyk winning a majority decision in January of 2018), the reigning IBF champion is headed towards a fight with his mandatory challenger Jai Opetaia, in Australia.
But after that, Briedis’ promoter Kalle Sauerland told Sportsmail, “there is no reason a fight with Lawrence Okolie can’t happen in the summer.”
Okolie, the WBO ruler, has his next fight set also; he will fight Michal Cieslak at the end of next month. And Sauerland says if both men come through okay, they can get it on in a two-belt unification clash in the summer.
This would be a great fight to see. Briedis, 28-1(20) has made news recently for getting ‘THAT’ tattoo of Jake Paul; the Latvian star being heavily criticized in some areas for getting the ink.
But Sauerland says his fighter “got a kick out of the reaction” the tattoo got – “the tattoo has had thousands of likes,” he said.
Sauerland doesn’t think Paul will agree to fight Briedis – “I’m sure he’s googled Briedis knockouts and he’ll think twice,” he said – but the Okolie fight can certainly happen in his opinion.
“They’ve got a fight with Cieslak – we’ll get through our fight, they’ll get through their fight,” Sauerland said of the upcoming bouts the two champions have. “We’ve got a good relationship with Matchroom and there’s no reason that fight can’t happen in the summer.”
Okolie, eight years younger than Briedis and unbeaten at 17-0(14), is big for the weight and he has the look of a potential star. But right now, Briedis has a huge edge in experience over the man from London.
In terms of how good, even how great Okolie can become, we have no way of knowing, but the tall, athletic hard puncher looks to have all the tools.
Would Briedis know too much for Okolie and would he beat him if they fought as soon as this summer? Briedis really is a man who has faced all manner of styles – big punchers, slick operators, rough and tough warriors, durable fighters…. you name it.
Briedis Vs. Okolie is arguably the best world title fight that can be made at cruiserweight right now and if Okolie gets though Cieslak and then feels he is ready for Briedis, then maybe we will see it this summer.
Whether it took place in the UK or in Latvia or some other location (and of course, providing Briedis beats southpaw Opetaia, currently 21-0), this one would be a hit with the fans.