WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie is shaking his head at the recent stunt by IBF champion Mairis Briedis.
A few days ago, Briedis posted a video where he entered a tattoo parlor and was inked with a Jake Paul tattoo – to bait the social media star to a fight.
Okolie has been trying to chase down a unification with Briedis. He wants to face Briedis before making a move in weight.
He felt it was “sad” to see a fighter like Briedis targeting Paul (5-0, 4 KOs), who has yet to face an actual boxer in the ring.
“I personally believe [the tattoo is] fake – he’s just attention-seeking,” Okolie told Give Me Sport.
“It’s sad because he’s a great fighter that has now resorted to doing whatever it takes for likes on social media. But I guess at the end of the day it all just comes down to pound notes.”
Before Briedis can think about Paul or anyone else, he is bound to make a mandatory defense against Jai Opetaia.
Okolie is scheduled to defend his belt against Michal Cieslak on February 27 at London’s O2 Arena.
He’s had trouble locking down the other world champions at the weight.
“I understand why. It’s a hard fight for good money but there’s still easier fights out there for people to take. And when you’re champion, your overall price goes up, so you want to maintain that for as long possible without risking it,” Okolie said.
“When I first turned professional I saw the division and I saw that there was a lot of good fighters but there was no draw to it outside of Tony Bellew. I thought to myself I’m going to try and push the division up. Obviously I’ve played my part but what I don’t want is people hanging around just waiting for the Okolie fight.
“I feel like I’m a trailblazer in terms of the risks that I take, and I hate the idea of other people just hanging around at an easy level and getting a world title shot, because I took the risks at the time.”