Lawrence Okolie calls Mairis Briedis 'attention-seeking' for getting Jake Paul tattoo

  • Tom Ward
Lawrence Okolie blasts Mairis Briedis for getting Jake Paul tattoo

Lawrence Okolie isn’t amused by Mairis Briedis‘ latest attempt to try and get Jake Paul‘s attention.

The Latvian showed off some brand new ink earlier this week featuring Paul’s name with the words ‘Bad Karma’ written above it. 

Naturally, this has received a massive backlash from many on social media, among them Okolie’s promoter Eddie Hearn, who called it ’embarrassing’.

However, Okolie says he’s not mad, he’s just disappointed. With that being said, he can understand why he’s done it. 

“I personally believe it’s fake – he’s just attention-seeking,” he tells GIVEMESPORT.

“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.”

Lawrence Okolie wearing the new 'Lightweight' Activewear range from boohooMAN

Okolie, 29, defends his WBO cruiserweight title against Michal Cieslak next month at London’s O2 Arena on February 27.

When asked if he feels like he is purposefully being avoided by the other champions in the division, he said that he does ‘but I understand why’.

“Yes is the honest answer but I understand why,” he says. 

“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.”

Lawrence Okolie is the current WBO cruiserweight champion

Okolie says it will be ‘interesting’ to see how the rest of the division plays out with the likes of Richard Riakporhe and Chris Billam-Smith expected to be back in action in the coming weeks.

“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,” he says. 

“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. 

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“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.

“So I would like to see everyone else boxing amongst themselves and pushing to get to world level themselves, you know? 

“But outside of myself I feel like there’s a lot of good fighters and a lot of good fights. Anyone in Britain, if I was going to box them, would be a hard fight. 

“My stablemate Chris, he’s now British, Commonwealth and European champion, that’s a hard fight. Obviously I wouldn’t box him but that’s still a hard fight.”

‘He poses his problems’

One mention of Riakporhe’s name and his eyes light up.

“You’ve got Riakporhe, he poses his problems,” he says.

“Six foot five, athletic guy, constantly improving – learned the boxing fundamentals, good jab, good variations, good confidence to throw combinations when he’s under pressure. 

“Who else is there? Jack Massey, solid, tough guy, gave Riakporhe a really hard fight.

“He’s in there for the twelve rounds, winging shots right back at you, so that’s another hard fight.

“So yeah, the whole British scene is very good, it’s just they kind of need to push out of this because everyone’s just been focusing on themselves and just dancing around.

“So it’s time to push on and have some serious fights and see what the world looks like outside of Lawrence Okolie.”

Okolie was speaking ahead of the release of the new ‘Lightweight’ Activewear collection by global online fashion retailer boohooMAN. With price points ranging from £12 – £50, the range will be available from boohooMAN.com on January 17.

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