Lawrence Okolie becomes the new WBO Cruiserweight champion!
Besides having the “feel good” story of utilizing boxing to lose massive amounts of weight only to later learn how good he was at it attached to his name, Lawrence “The Sauce” Okolie has been on the radar of many boxing fans as a wildcard in the cruiserweight division. After beating all comers across the United Kingdom circuit, he finally gets his opportunity for a world title shot as the WBO #2 ranked contender against the former champ Krzysztof Glowacki.
This bout was supposed to take place in December 2020. However, the former champion from Poland tested positive for COVID-19. This led to the British contender getting a showcase fight against unknown, undefeated fill-in opponent Nikodem Jezewski. A two-round knockout victory in an impressive showing he needed! Prior, Okolie took lots of criticism for being a “boring” fighter. This writer can attest to this as his “snooze-fest” victory over Matty Askin was covered in 2018. Although, he has picked up five straight knockout wins since. Now with the buzz back on “The Sauce”, this is the right time to capture a strap!
Glowacki is absolutely the biggest test of Okolie’s career thus far. The two-time WBO champion and 13 year veteran has faced every top or former top cruiserweight within the last six years! From former champions Marco Huck and Steve Cunningham to current champion Mairis Briedis and former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, he has seen it all in the ring! Regardless, he came into this bout as a massive underdog!
Evidently, the odds makers knew something fans who felt Glowacki’s experience would be a factor did not know!
STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW
Okolie is a tall and lanky cruiserweight who uses every bit of his height and reach. Standing 6’5″ with over 80″ in reach, he boasted a five inch height and reach advantage over Golwacki and used it very well. From the opening bell, he stayed on the outside peppering his opponent with straight shots. Granted he is a terrible inside fighter, the fact that he stays disciplined on the outside behind his jab/straight-right combination, he is difficult to beat.
The only prayer Glowacki had in this fight was if Okolie got tired. As a result of being fatigued, he would stop moving around the ring and stay put long enough for the former champion to get inside and land his signature left hook. However, Okolie is a well conditioned fighter. He can stay on the outside, sticking his jab to setup the straight right up top or down low for 15 rounds!
By round four, the posturing and feinting of Glowacki did little to help him. He continued to fail at getting inside and really being any kind of factor. Instead, he followed Okolie around the ring, constantly getting tagged by the jab, straight right combination which eventually opened a cut above his right eye. There were a few times where the two tied up in close and the Polish fighter attempted to land something big…but no dice!
Okolie had a game-plan that Glowacki absolutely could not adjust to and he stuck to it.
ANOTHER DOWN, WHAT NEXT?
After five rounds of domination, another straight right hand finally put Glowacki on his back. He laid on the mat, staring up at the lights until the referee got to six. By eight, he got to his feet but continued to stumble a bit. The referee felt that was enough to call the fight. The stoppage could have been premature, however, the former champion really had no chance of winning. We would have either witnessed six more rounds of him failing to do anything or an eventual knockout late.
Now an official world champion, Okolie mentioned previously he had aspirations of moving up to the heavyweight division. However in the post-fight interview, he mentioned he would like to take on World Boxing Super Series Season Two winner and current IBF champion Mairis Briedis first. That would be a helluva fight given Okolie’s boxing ability and dimensions and Briedis’ I.Q.
Hopefully that fight gets made!
By: EJ Williams