Lawrence Okolie is “definitely” aiming to unify cruiserweight division in 2021

'The Sauce' faces Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO world cruiserweight title on Saturday night…

Lawrence Okolie has set his sights on unifying the cruiserweight division ahead of his world title shot against Krzysztof Glowacki.

This bout was due to be the chief support for Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev last December. But Glowacki was forced to pull out at the last minute as he tested positive for Covid-19.

But the world title clash has been rearranged and it is set to headline a stacked fight night on Saturday 20 March at Wembley Arena.

Joe Cordina - who has not fought since November 2019 - returns on the same night. Anthony Fowler, Chris Billam-Smith, and Ramla Ali are also on the card.

Okolie has the chance to become a world champion in just his sixteenth professional bout. This would match the time it took Joshua to win a world title. AJ won the IBF world heavyweight title from Charles Martin in 2016 via an emphatic second-round stoppage.

Glowacki is comfortably Okolie's most difficult opponent to date. The Polish fighter has already held the WBO world title twice and his only professional defeats came against Oleksandr Usyk and Mairis Briedis.

Former champions' messages to Lawrence Okolie

Should Okolie get past Glowacki, he will have his sights set on unifying the division before he inevitably steps up to heavyweight. 'The Sauce' told Boxing Scene that it is "now or never" for him to win world titles: 

"Definitely this year I would like to unify. Some people have said 'take your time'. I know that is important and I don't aim to lose but I keep pushing to find my level. Is it British? Is it Commonwealth? Is it world?

"Now I believe I am going to win this world title, is it me against another champion? I definitely want to unify. It depends on how thing go with other fighters. Not looking past this one, but I would definitely want my next fight to be a unification against one of the other champions.

"The most important thing is to win well. Usually, I just say 'I just want to win', but I really liked the feedback I got from my last fight, hopefully, I am going to be able to keep that momentum going. I feel I am one of the best fighters in the world and fighting the best out there is nothing that has ever worried me.

"I'm getting to that age now, I'm 28. It's now or never-ish. If you're going to be a world champion it would be nice to start from now. I have to make sure I'm doing world championship stuff now if I'm going to be a world champion."

Okolie has looked dominant throughout his pro career, but if he is going to come unstuck at world level, it will be against Glowacki.

'The Sauce' and his team have looked supremely confident in the build-up to this one. You can look at this as a positive and as a negative.

He is clearly very assured of his abilities, but he cannot afford to look past Glowacki in any way, as he is more than capable of punishing him for it.

The behind closed doors era has already produced some almighty shocks, with Dillian Whyte and Josh Warrington coming to mind. Okolie will have to be wary if he wants to avoid being added to this list.

This is easily the most important fight of Okolie's career so far. If he gets past Glowacki, this will propel him to bigger and better things.

Aged 28, there is still an awful lot for him to achieve. There's no doubt that AJ's protégé is capable of unifying as a cruiserweight and being troublesome at heavyweight as well.

Not bad for a man who was working at McDonald's during the 2012 Olympics, is it?

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