Mairis Briedis open to unification with Lawrence Okolie: “He’s simply consuming my leftovers, if he needs an actual struggle, let’s go!”

IBF cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis is at present having fun with a coaching camp in Egypt, however was keen to verify his curiosity in a possible unification conflict with newly-crowned WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie.

‘“If our groups can attain an settlement to struggle, then let’s get it on,” Briedis instructed Dangerous Left Hook, accompanied by his supervisor Raimonds Zeps.

“If he needs it, let’s make a fireplace,” he continued. “But when not, it’s not an issue. I do know I’m primary within the cruiserweight division and I’ve already mentioned that I plan to maneuver as much as heavyweight for greater challenges.

“The heavyweight division to me is the best stage, so I need to check myself in opposition to one of the best. I would like new challenges to maintain me enthusiastic about boxing.”

Briedis was because of make his heavyweight debut on the finish of March in opposition to Poland’s Mariusz Wach till the pandemic continued to puncture holes within the boxing schedule. This soar up remains to be deliberate for the Latvian in 2021, however a unification with Lawrence Okolie might effectively take priority.

“Our groups have had preliminary talks this week, however nothing greater than that,” Briedis’ supervisor, Raimonds Zeps confirmed. “There’s nothing particular on the desk, however each events are comfortable to speak. If we are able to get this struggle made then we are able to put our plans to maneuver as much as heavyweight on maintain in the intervening time.”

Briedis hasn’t fought since a majority choice victory over Yuniel Dorticos within the closing of the cruiserweight World Boxing Tremendous Collection final September. He’s staying lively, making ready for a confirmed struggle date within the close to future.

“I’m in Egypt in the meanwhile,” he defined. “Coaching little bits right here and there, however nothing too severe. Swimming, operating, weights, a little bit of shadow-boxing, simply ticking over actually. It’s laborious in Latvia in the meanwhile to coach because it’s winter and so chilly. Right here, in Egypt, all the things is less complicated.”

We giggle as he rumbles my curiosity. Briedis wasn’t overly impressed with Okolie’s win on Saturday evening however understands why there could be such demand for a unification bout with the unbeaten Briton.

“As quickly as this struggle was over, everybody began screaming my identify. They appear to imagine in Okolie, however time will inform. Okolie is simply consuming my leftovers. Glowacki has been unwell with COVID-19 and was knocked out badly by me in our struggle, so I don’t know the way spectacular that win was. If he needs an actual struggle, let’s go.

“I don’t suppose a lot about Okolie, however certain, he has a superb attain. I’ll solely know extra as soon as I’ve been within the ring with him earlier than I can say an excessive amount of extra.

Briedis has fought within the UK as soon as earlier than in 2016, besting Simon Vallily inside three rounds on the undercard of Tony Bellew vs BJ Flores. He’s snug because the away fighter and is open to the thought of a return to the UK.

“I’d be very comfortable combating within the UK,” he concluded. “There are lots of Latvians there, I felt at dwelling final time I used to be within the UK.”

Lewis Watson is a sports activities author from London, UK, and a member of the BWAA. Observe or contact him on Twitter @lewroyscribbles

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