Earlier today news broke that Cruiserweight prospects and bitter London rivals Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain will finally face each other, live on Sky Sports at the O2 Arena on February 3rd.
Both fighters have been very vocal on social media, Chamberlain even went as far as to confront Okolie whilst they both sat ringside at York Hall.
Both men have had very different careers thus far. Rio Olympian Okolie signed with Matchroom Sport in January this year, with his debut coming months later in front of full Manchester crowd on the undercard of the Linares/Crolla rematch. Since then he has gone onto record 7 victories, 6 coming by way of knockout.
Chamberlain has followed a different path. He debuted without the fanfare of his rival and has racked up 9 straight wins, 4 coming by way of knockout. What has particularly impressed Me about Chamberlain in particular came in his sixth pro fight against Wadi Camacho. Chamberlain dislocated his shoulder in the 3rd round of that bout and still went onto register a points victory against a far more experienced professional.
Both guys issued statements, below, following the announcement:
Okolie said:“I think it’s going to be a bloody, brutal fight.
“I said when I first turned professional I’m not here to mess about, I want to take risks and push on. Chamberlain has done a lot of talking and on February 3 we’ll see if he can back up his words.”
“It’s one for the fans in a thriving domestic division. People will finally see me come out of the cage.”
Chamberlain said: “It’s been a long time coming. I’m pleased we have finished and signed off on all the negotiations, now that is done we can focus on the fight. It’s a great fight for British boxing fans.”
“Nothing has been given to me and I still have that underdog mentality – everything I want I have to go and get it, I’ve earnt my stripes.
“That’s made me a lot stronger fighter and that’s going to show on February 3. I want to knock him out. I’m going to knock him out. I’m going to train so hard, I’m going to knock him out cold.”
When I think about this match-up..
Okolie reminds me a lot of the way fellow british prospect Connor Benn goes about his business. He’s a showman and is very wild, but carries obvious power. I’ve seen him take a lot of shots in a short fight career. He simply cannot do that against Chamberlain.
I like how Chamberlain has gone about his business. Whilst Okolie has been sparring the likes of fellow Olympian Joe Joyce, his South London rival has been in the ring with WBO Cruiserweight Champion Oleksandr Uysk.
For me at this precise moment in time I would have to side with Chamberlain. Okolie is a little too wild for my liking and will have to make changes to his game rather than relying on his power.
By: Aaron Cooper
Aaron is the UK correspondent for 3KingsBoxing.com