8:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK
8 x 3 mins Middleweight contest
BRADLEY REA 11st 5lbs 0oz v LEE CUTLER 11st 4lbs 5oz
(Stretford, England) (Bournemouth, England)
19:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS & DAZN
6 x 2 mins Featherweight contest
RAMLA ALI 9st 0lbs 6oz v BEC CONNOLLY 9st 0lbs 5oz
(Bethnal Green, England via Somalia) (Swindon, England)
10 x 3 mins vacant WBA Continental Cruiserweight Title
CHRIS BILLAM-SMITH 14st 3lbs 0oz v VASIL DUCAR 14st 2lbs 8oz
(Bournemouth, England) (Brno, Czech Republic)
6 x 2 mins International Featherweight contest
ELLIE SCOTNEY 8st 10lbs 13oz v MAILYS GANGLOFF 8st 6lbs 13oz
(Catford, England) (Aix-les-Bains, France)
10 x 3 mins WBA Intercontinental Super-Welterweight Title
ANTHONY FOWLER 10st 13lbs 13oz v JORGE FORTEA 10st 12lbs 7oz
(Liverpool, England) (Sueca, Spain)
10 x 3 mins International Super-Featherweight contest
JOE CORDINA 9st 6lbs 6oz v FAROUKH KOURBANOV 9st 4lbs 8oz
(Cardiff, Wales) (Liege, Belgium)
12 x 3 mins vacant WBO Cruiserweight World Title
LAWRENCE OKOLIE 14st 3lbs 6oz v KRZYSTOF GLOWACKI 13st 13lbs 13oz
(Hackney, England) (Walcz, Poland)
Lawrence Okolie is confident of winning his first World Title in style by stopping former World Champion Krzysztof Glowacki when they clash for the vacant WBO Title at The SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday March 20, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories.
The pair were due to clash on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s emphatic ninth round knockout win over Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev in December but Glowacki was forced to withdraw from their contest after he returned a positive COVID-19 test.
‘The Sauce’ (15-0, 12 KOs) made short work of late stand-in opponent Nikodem Jezewski to stay on course for a shot at the WBO crown, demolishing the Pole in two brutal rounds with an impressive show of explosive power.
Okolie hasn’t put a foot wrong since turning professional in 2017 following an impressive stint the amateurs that saw him represent Great Britain in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and the Hackney contender believes that March 20 will be the first step on his journey to unifying the Cruiserweight division before moving up to Heavyweight.
“Five years ago I was in Hackney and had no real plan or idea,” said Okolie. “I was boxing but I wasn’t on the GB team and I’d never had an international fight. I was just boxing and working. Five years down the line I’ve become a Team GB boxer, gone to the Olympics, turned pro and won all of these Titles. Now I’m fighting for a World Title.
“It feels like it’s going to be a massive statement winning this fight, not just for me but for the area that I come from, the type of person that I am and people that have dealt with bullying. I’m not here to be a hero or anything like that but I’ve had to deal with a lot of stuff, and a lot of people can relate to those kinds of struggles. It’s nice to know that people are motivated by it.
“It will be entertaining for fans because there’s going to be someone trying to really put it on me. I believe I’m going to win by stoppage. I’m just excited to watch the highlights of the fight afterwards to see what shot I did it with. This is his opportunity to win what he believes is his Title back. He can be as strong as he likes against whoever he’s boxed so far but there’s no physical chance he’s stronger than me.
“Although he’s got a lot of attributes, I can’t see any of them working against me. I think he’ll be confident. He’s a game guy and probably thinks it’s my first time at world level. One of my main attributes is my mental toughness. I have the ability to cope with any fight. I look forward to it.
“This has been a long time coming. It’s been a year since I knew that I was mandatory for the World Title. I’ve been mentally preparing for this for a year. We’ve had to deal with lockdowns and now I’m excited to get it over and done with, get the victory and become a World Champion. Physically I’m getting into my prime now. Mentally, I’ve dealt with the excitement of the occasion. Now it’s just a formality.
“If, god willing, I’m able to win here, I need a unification fight next. It’s about pushing on every time. I won the Commonwealth and pushed on, I won the British and pushed on, I won the European and I pushed on. After I win the World Title I want to unify and move up to Heavyweight. It’s all there, it just keeps me motivated in the gym and pushing for more.”
BILLAM-SMITH – I’LL END THE FIGHT INSIDE TEN
Chris Billam-Smith says there is no chance of him overlooking his “tough” replacement opponent Vasil Ducar, but the reigning Commonwealth Cruiserweight Champion will be looking to stop him inside the distance when they collide at The SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday March 20, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories.
‘The Gentleman’ (11-1, 10 KOs), who blasted out Cardiff’s Nathan Thorley in two destructive rounds in the opening bout of Fight Camp Week 2 last August, was originally slated to battle English Champion Deion Jumah for the vacant British Title but will now take on the Czech Republic’s Ducar for the vacant WBA Continental Title.
Impressive back-to-back stoppage wins since his close points loss to Richard Riakporhe in 2019 have seen the Bournemouth powerhouse cement himself as one of the hottest properties in the UK Cruiserweight scene, and now the 30-year-old Shane McGuigan-trained fighter will look to make his mark at European level, with a showdown against Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy in his sight lines.
“We’re in this sport to fight so when fights fall out close to the date it’s frustrating but I’m just looking forward to getting back in there and putting on a show,” said Billam-Smith. “I’m learning all the time and that’s the way I’m looking at it, I’m far from the finished article and I’m using every day in camp to make sure I’m always improving.
“Vasil Ducar was out sparring Mairis Briedis with me about a year ago and he’s very tough. He’s been in with some very good fighters who couldn’t get him out of there so I will be looking to go one better and end the fight inside the ten rounds.
“Shane also tells me how tough he is but my response to that is, ‘let’s see!’. He’s never been stopped and can clearly punch with 8 of his 9 wins coming by knockout. This is a good challenge for me at this stage of my career.
“I would love to headline a show in Bournemouth later this year when crowds have returned. The Tommy McCarthy fight for the European Title really excites me or the rematch with Richard Riakporhe, but right now it’s all focus on Ducar, March 20.”
Billam-Smith vs. Ducar is part of a huge night of action in London, Hackney Cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie (15-0, 12 KOs) attempts to become Britain’s next World Champion in just his sixteenth fight when he clashes with Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO crown, Welsh Super-Featherweight Joe Cordina (11-0, 7 KOs) meets Belgium’s Faroukh Kourbanov (17-2, 3 KOs) over ten rounds, Liverpool Super-Welterweight Anthony Fowler (13-1, 10 KOs) returns against Spain’s Jorge Fortea (21-2-1, 7 KOs) with the WBA International Title on the line, Ramla Ali (1-0) has her second professional fight, Catford’s Ellie Scotney (1-0) meets Mailys Gangloff (4-1, 1 KO) and Stretford Middleweight Bradley Rea (9-0, 3 KOs) takes on Bournemouth’s Lee Cutler (7-0, 4 KOs).