McGuigan hopes Hackney's Lawrence Okolie will take on Maris Briedis

Lawrence Okolie (left) celebrates after retaining the WBO World Cruiserweight title belt after defea

Lawrence Okolie (left) celebrates after retaining the WBO World Cruiserweight title belt after defeating Dilan Prasovic via Round 3 knockout at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. - Credit: PA

Shane McGuigan hopes promoter Eddie Hearn can next match Lawrence Okolie with IBF world cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis.

The 28-year-old retained his WBO mantle after outclassing Montenegro’s Dilan Prasovic inside three rounds in the main support to Anthony Joshua’s title defence against Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last Saturday.

Prasovic, 26, offered no threat to the towering 6ft 5in Okolie and his evening at The Spurs ended in 1:57 of the third after the Kotor-born orthodox specialist was counted out, after receiving a punishing left hook shot to his ribcage.

‘The Sauce’ advances to 17 straight victories, 14 inside the distance, and is now on an ambitious task to unify the world cruiserweight division.

Lawrence Okolie (left) and Dilan Prasovic in action during the WBO World Cruiserweight title fght at

Lawrence Okolie (left) and Dilan Prasovic in action during the WBO World Cruiserweight title fght at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. - Credit: PA

As it stands, Armenia’s Arsen Goulamirian holds the WBA Super title while Ivory Coast Belgian-based Ryad Merhy is the WBA regular version champion.


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Congo’s Ilungach Makabu has the WBC belt but the one champion which is top of Team Okolie’s wanted list is IBF title holder from Latvia Mairis Briedis.

David Haye was the last Briton to unify the cruiserweight division when he defeated former champion from France Jean-Marc Mormeck in November 2007 and then Enzo Maccarinelli, who was then the WBO champion, four months later.

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"He needs the guys that are going to test him,” said McGuigan, trainer of Okolie.

“Out of everyone we want Mairis Briedis the most because I know he (Okolie) is the best cruiserweight in the world and now Briedis is staying down here he’s not going to be here for long.

"He’s 36 so why not get him next. Lawrence wants to be undisputed so the goal is there.”

Okolie echo’s his trainers view and added: "I need the big names to get the best out of myself, unifications and the rest,” he said. “The better the person in front of me, the better my performance.

"The other champions would be trying to win so I could land a clinical shot to finish."

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