Lawrence Okolie takes on former World champion Krzysztof Glowacki for the WBO World cruiserweight title tonight in London. It’s a giant leap up in class for ‘The Sauce’ but many feel it will be his defining night.
Since turning pro, Lawrence Okolie’s popularity in the sport has blown hot and cold. After building up a few wins, his first acid test came against Isaac Chamberlain, which turned out to be an ugly and dull encounter. Four months later however, he redeemed himself with a third round KO victory against Luke Watkins for the Commonwealth title. The power of Okolie is always a fascinating spectacle, and will likely keep us entertained for many more years. Later that year, when he challenged Matty Askin for the British title, many were unconvinced of Okolie’s potential to be a star in the sport. It was two horrible fights to watch in the space of a year, it looked like there was no recovery.
Now, under the guidance of Shane McGuigan, we’ve seen small improvements in their small array of fights together. Okolie is well and truly out of his cage now, he punches harder than before, he doesn’t smother his work, he’s picking his shots better and doesn’t waste punches as much as he used to.
Glowacki is much the opposite to the Londoner, a veteran of the sport, who has boxed at the highest level, earning some decent scalps throughout his career. Glowacki isn’t declining, but having achieved everything he wanted out of boxing, his desire isn’t there any more. The inactivity added in to that would make me think Okolie wins this in every way, but he cannot get complacent against a good operator like Glowacki.
Ultimately, I think the southpaw stance of Glowacki will suit Okolie, and his detonating right hand. Trainer Shane McGuigan knows this is a tough fight, but also knows the vulnerabilities in Glowacki. This fight has been talked about for a long time, and both fighters have had plenty of time to prepare, so when I think who that would suit more – I have to go with the young, hungry Englishman. A KO is almost guaranteed in this fight (2/5*), but I think Okolie and the team will want to make this a statement and produce a career best performance. Expect Glowacki to get dropped early (5/2), with Okolie dominating the fight and closing the show in the seventh round (12/1).
What’s your prediction?
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*All prices are from SkyBet.