Lawrence Okolie Profile
|Born||Dec 16, 1992|
|Birthplace||Hackney, London, UK|
|Division||Cruiserweight Limit: 200 Pounds|
|Professional Record||17-0 (14)|
Lawrence Okolie followed in the footsteps of David Haye and Tony Bellew by becoming world cruiserweight champion with his win over Krzysztof Glowacki.
Lawrence Okolie is a British fighter who currently holds the WBO cruiserweight world championship.
Having had little amateur experience, Okolie was selected to represent Team GB at the Olympic Games in 2016. He's since won British, Commonwealth and European titles at professional level.
According to BoxRec, Okolie is the third best cruiserweight in the world, behind Mairis Briedis and Ilunga Makabu who are placed first and second, respectively.
Win vs Prasovic
Okolie cruised to the first defence of his WBO cruiserweight championship after stopping Dilan Prasovic in the third round.
On the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021, Okolie dropped the Montenegrin twice.
A right hand at the end of the second round saw the previously unbeaten Prasovic, who was making a significant step up, take a knee.
And Okolie finished him off in round three with a body shot, with Prasovic unable to get to his feet.
Who will Okolie fight next?
Briedis is the current IBF titleholder while Makabu - who got stopped by Tony Bellew in 2016 at Everton's Goodison Park - is the WBC champion. They are the standout fighters at 200-pounds.
But Okolie will fight Michal Cieslak next on Sunday February, 27.
The Greatest Hits: Askin, Chamberlain and Glowacki
His most impressive performance was the dismantling of Glowacki in his most recent fight. After dictating with his jab throughout the opening five rounds - under the guidance of Shane McGuigan - a right hand floored Glowacki and ended proceedings in the sixth.
Okolie has also featured on Sky Sports Box Office against domestic rival Isaac Chamberlain. The bad blood between the pair created an intriguing build-up with many predicting an upset was on the cards.
However, in front of a sell-out O2 Arena in London, Okolie outpointed the fellow Londoner to earn victory via unanimous decision to win the WBA Continental title.
Okolie took on British champion Matty Askin in July 2018 after vacating the Commonwealth title he had won earlier that year. The fight took place on the undercard of Joshua vs Povetkin at London's Wembley stadium, with Okolie winning via unanimous decision.
It was a scrappy affair in which Okolie did enough to win 116-110, 114-112 and 114-113 on the judges' scorecards.
Notable fights: Watkins and Ngabu
In June 2018, Okolie beat Commonwealth champion Luke Watkins with a devastating display at London's York Hall. "The Sauce" used his superior height and reach to keep Watkins at bay before unleashing his power in the third round.
Watkins had called out Okolie in April of that year, but it was the champion who hit the canvas as Okolie threw some brilliant combinations and landed a flush right hand.
Watkins beat the count but was then floored by two more big right hands. The bout was waved off as Okolie became the new Commonwealth champ.
After recording a series of impressive TKO victories over lower-level fighters, Okolie came up against Belgium's Yves Ngabu in October 2019.
The bout proved to be an exciting one with both fighters trading major blows. Okolie got the better of most exchanges and soon troubled his opponent with a left hook in the seventh round.
An overhand right followed and Ngabu's legs were gone, forcing the referee to wave off the bout.
How to watch Lawrence Okolie
Okolie has been promoted by Matchroom's Eddie Hearn, and managed by world heavyweight champ Joshua, ever since turning pro in 2017. He regularly appears on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN around other parts of the world.
Okolie could soon make a full-time switch to DAZN as Hearn's deal with Sky nears its conclusion.
Okolie only began boxing aged 17 in an attempt to lose weight. Despite his inexperience, he was selected for Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio as a heavyweight. He was defeated by Erislandy Savon of Cuba in the round of 16, ruining his dream of becoming an Olympic champ.
He also held the English University National championship twice before turning pro.
Okolie is a proud east Londoner who was brought up by Nigerian parents in Hackney. He had a tough time at school and was bullied because of his weight.
Speaking about his experience, Okolie told SportBible: "I try my best not to overthink it, but: working in McDonald's, being bullied at school, being overweight… Even then, I always had this feeling that I wanted to win.
"I would stay in the changing rooms for five minutes after PE, so I didn't have to take my top off in front of everyone."
His desire for change eventually led him to the gym, where he quickly got into shape and found his love for the sport.
Working at McDonald's
After leaving school, Okolie began working at McDonald's. While his hero Joshua was winning Olympic gold in 2012, Okolie was flipping burgers at work. He says watching that summer on TV inspired him to take boxing more seriously and pursue a career in the sport.
As for his nickname, "The Sauce", Okolie says: "I did an interview when I first turned professional and I said, as part of an analogy, that boxing is like a burger. And that the most important ingredient is the sauce - that's how you give it your own special flavour.
"Then all of a sudden, a week later, 'The Sauce' is on my shorts! So my team kind of said yes, this is what it is now, let's go."
Okolie's net worth is not currently known due to his relatively short spell at world title level. A unification bout against either Briedis or Makabu would see Okolie earn the biggest payday of his career to date.
Okolie is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his manager Joshua, who is worth around $100million.
Lawrence Okolie News
- Mar 21, 2022