WBSS: Lawrence Okolie runs the rule over this year's semi-finalists
Okolie: "I will watch the WBSS of course, these guys are at the top of the division at the minute and we have two great world championship class fights."
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 15/06/19 2:28pm
Lawrence Okolie has cast his eye over the World Boxing Super Series semi-finalists and backed Mairis Briedis to lift the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Briedis will bid to make up for last year's semi-final disappointment when he takes on Krzysztof Glowacki, while Yuniel Dorticos and Andrew Tabiti are expected to go toe-to-toe in their final-four clash at the Arena Riga, live on Sky Sports Arena.
Okolie, who is due to defend his British and Commonwealth titles against Jack Massy in Manchester on July 6, live on Sky Sports, will be an armchair fan on Saturday but the Hackney cruiserweight hopes to be mixing in similar company within 12 months.
"I will watch the WBSS of course, these guys are at the top of the division at the minute and we have two great world championship class fights, it's good to see everyone getting experience," Okolie told Sky Sports.
"The profile of the cruiserweights is increasing and hopefully, if I beat Jack, I'll start making my way to world level."
The undefeated 26-year-old believes Briedis, who lost to Oleksandr Usyk in last year's semis, will reach the final if he uses his superior technical skills against Glowacki, unless the Polish southpaw can land his favoured left-hand.
"Briedis wins unless Glowacki can land a good shot," predicted Okolie. "The Latvian is very good technically with a lot of grit.
"Glowacki is not that much bigger than him in terms of height and reach but is a little slower on his feet. Briedis is physical, very good at shutting the distance and letting his shots off at close distance. It should be a decent mid-range fight."
Saturday's other semi-final could be decided inside the distance as undefeated Tabiti and Cuban heavy-hitter Dorticos share 34 knockout victories between them.
"Tabiti and Dorticos are both very explosive," added Okolie. "Tabiti is a lot faster but Dorticos has got the seasoning that the American might not have yet.
"Tabiti hasn't been in the tough fights so he might be fresher and that can play a factor if the fight goes late. Dorticos is the favourite but I can't call the winner.
"Briedis probably wins overall but it all depends on this weekend's action. If Dorticos or Tabiti win by stoppage early that could sway it because they might not have been in a war.
"I'll go for Briedis but you never know."
Watch these World Boxing Super Series semi-finals live on Sky Sports Arena at 9pm on Saturday evening.