Lawrence Okolie can clean up cruiserweight division in style and send clear message
When I watch an opponent having his hands wrapped I’m looking for two things, to make sure it’s legal and to check his state of mind.
When Krzysztof Glowacki fought Lawrence Okolie last March he looked nervous. Dilan Prasovic looked like he didn’t know what he was getting into in September. Either super confident or out of his depth. It was the latter.
Okolie nailed him with a left to the body as his elbow came up. One of my favourites. Folded like a crisp packet.
I think Michal Cieslak, who he meets in the second defence of his WBO cruiserweight title at the O2 Arena on Saturday is a better version of Glowacki.
He has suffered only one defeat, losing to Ilunga Junior Makabu for the vacant WBC title on away turf in Kinshasa two years ago, and is up for this.
He will need to be. Okolie is moving into a new phase of his career. When he started training with Shane (McGuigan), he wanted not only to improve but to excite.
He is getting there. He has yet to go the distance against any since the association began. The fights against Glowacki and Prasovic were dominant. He beat them up and knocked them out.
On the GB team in the amateurs, Okolie had the best power to weight ratio in the squad. He has sparred with Anthony Joshua and Daniel Dubois.
He has seen Oleksandr Usyk go up to heavyweight and take three titles off Joshua. He wants to do the same thing. But first he has to clean up at cruiser.
I believe he will unify the division in style. That message will be sent with another stoppage win against Cieslak.
There has been talk of Kell Brook taking on Chris Eubank Jnr after his comprehensive demolition of Amir Khan last week.
I would counsel against that if he wants to avoid the same fate as Khan. Last Saturday proved a good big ‘un will always beat a good little ‘un.
The fight for Brook is Conor Benn or a shot at a unified light middleweight champion. Benn would be prepared to go to 149, which is a low as Brook can go.
Brook was brilliant against Khan. It would be an ideal way to go out. But I don’t see that happening.
There is too much money still to be made, but not at middleweight, as he learned to his cost against Gennady Golovkin.
Eubank Jnr is no Golovkin but the result would be the same.