Okolie: from McDonalds to big-time glory

March 21, 2021

Lawrence Okolie put in an impressive performance to claim the WBO world cruiserweight title

Lawrence Okolie put in an impressive performance to claim the WBO world cruiserweight title

 

Krysztof Glowacki was barely able to land a punch on Okolie over the five rounds of action

Krysztof Glowacki was barely able to land a punch on Okolie over the five rounds of action

 

The question is no longer whether the man nicknamed The Sauce is a force to be reckoned with in boxing.

Nor if Lawrence Okolie is good enough to become the undisputed world cruiserweight champion, providing he continues to bring his newly unveiled A-game to the argument whenever he faces the seasoned Mairis Breidis.

The big issue now is whether this East Londoner’s height, reach and punching power can detonate on the giant multi-million-pounders at heavyweight.

For this, we may have to wait a year or more for the answer but after this Saturday night at the Wembley Arena it promises to be fun finding out.

The new Okolie left his huggie-bear days way behind him as he moved, jabbed and then right-hooked his way to the vacant WBO world cruiserweight title in only his 16th professional fight.

Krysztof Glowacki, a former two-time holder of this title, was barely able to land a punch on Okolie before the roof fell in. A concussive right hook put the finishing touch to five rounds and 46 seconds of impressive work by a 28-year-old late starter but fast riser in the ring.

The ecstatic Okolie said: I’ll probably cry when I get back to my hotel room but I’ll be ready for Briedis. I want him next.’ 

Since the IBF champion is markedly superior to the other belt-holders in this in-between division, victory over Latvia’s national idol would put Okolie firmly on course to his next ambition. Helped in part by the technically brilliant Olexsandr Usyk’s move away from cruiser to heavyweight.

All that said, it does have to be recognised that Glowacki was a craven disappointment. The first blows from Okolie’s telescopic arms not only nicked an eye but knocked all the stuffing out of him.

Once he received this jarring confirmation that Okolie’s Adonis muscularity is for real, not cosmetic, Glowacki made little or no attempt to get inside. He simply waited for the inevitable from an opponent standing five inches taller than his own six-feet – a peach of a right hander.

 

His dominant display raises the question of whether he can move to heavyweight level

His dominant display raises the question of whether he can move to heavyweight level

 

Okolie will not enjoy such physical advantages against the likes of Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder. But it is his good fortune that he does have the trainer to help him make the eventual adjustments.

Shane McGuigan, son of Irish ring legend Barry, has done a remarkable job already in transitioning this 28-year-old from an awkward grappler into an imposing boxer.

Far sterner test do await. But meanwhile Britain has another world champion to celebrate. A pity no fans were allowed to join the Saturday night party but hopefully they will be out in force as Okolie’s fast-food journey takes him on from serving up burgers in McDonalds to seeking big-time glory,

 

SOURCE: dailymail.co.uk


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *