Kalle Sauerland, promoter for IBF cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis, admits he was shocked when his boxer posted a video to social media - which showed the titleholder getting a tattoo to antagonize social media star Jake Paul.
Paul (5-0, 4 KOs), who has yet to face an actual boxer, is severely inexperienced when compared to Breidis - but the veteran likes the amount of compensation that comes with a fight against Paul.
Briedis inked a tattoo with the words 'JAKE'S BAD KARMA' onto his leg.
The once-beaten champion has a mandatory defense to contend with, against Jai Opetaia.
Sauerland was caught by surprise when Briedis showed him the video.
“He sent it to me, the day before it went out, and I didn’t know what to say! I mean, he is a very jokey character and you mustn’t misunderstand him – he’s preparing now for his mandatory defense now, which he has to do," Sauerland told Talk Sport.
“It will be Opetaia, again a very tough contender, he has earned the right to fight him. He is a three-time world champion. So people out there saying he is after Jake Paul… yeah right! He is a three-time world champion who won the World Boxing Super Series to unify the belts. You can forget that part, of course he looks at it as a commercial opportunity!"
Sauerland warned his boxer that Paul is very unlikely to give him the time of day.
“I said to him, ‘Mairis, this guy is not going to fight you! He wants novice fighters, retired superstars – preferably retired for a decade – he is not looking for a top drawer cruiserweight’. It doesn’t help that when you go into YouTube and you type in ‘Mairis Breidis showreel knockouts’ and I’m sure if you show that to Jake Paul, he will look at that and run a mile," Sauerland said.
“But the fact that he has got a tattoo done of it, whether it is real or not, I saw it went quite viral and I understandably so. He’s a character, Mairis, and I’m sure he will keep surprising us with more of those moments.”