Exciting and talented British cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie has yet to fight for a world title, much less win one, but the tall puncher from London is close to facing Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO belt at 200 pounds. And Okolie’s big plan, his very big plan, is to win that fight, then unify the cruiserweight titles – before moving up to heavyweight, he hopes next year.
Speaking with Sky Sports, 27 year old Okolie, who is currently 14-0(11) and stands an impressive 6’5,” said that although he fully understands that sparring is one thing, a real fight is another, he feels “comfortable” when sparring the likes of Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.
“If I’m able to accomplish what I want to accomplish this year, then maybe early next year I will move up. I’d look to potentially unify [the cruiserweight division] in the fight after [Glowacki], and solidify myself as a world champion this year,” Okolie, known as “The Sauce,” said. “I feel comfortable [sparring heavyweights]. We’d have to see in an actual fight scenario but in sparring, with bigger headguards and bigger gloves, then athleticism is a big factor because you have to move in and out. One big shot isn’t as big of a factor.”
Throughout boxing history only two men, Evander Holyfield and David Haye, have been able to win a word title at cruiserweight and then up at heavyweight also. It’s a tough task, as some fine fighters who tried it and failed will tell you. Would Okolie’s chin hold up? Would he be able to carry his punching power up with him? These are just two questions to ask regarding Okolie’s lofty goal.
Let’s see how Okolie, who is coming off four straight stoppage wins, gets on with the tough and experienced Glowacki before we ponder too seriously how his chances as a heavyweight might go. It’s a natural thing, of course, for a cruiserweight star to have the urge to move up to heavyweight: that’s where the big bucks come in. And maybe Okolie would prove to be a most welcome, and exciting, addition to the sport’s premiere weight division.