EUROPEAN cruiserweight champion Yves Ngabu has welcomed a challenge from Lawrence Okolie. He expects it take place later this year in the UK.
“He’s a good fighter but if I want to get to world level these are the fighters I have to beat,” Ngabu told Boxing News. “I want to fight the number one here in the UK.
“I’m really excited to go there and fight Okolie.”
Ngabu warns, “I’m a guy that can take punches, I can fight, I can punch, you’ll see how we’re going to handle this. I am sure that I have fought fighters that hit harder than him and you know I just love to fight and I can take punches and I can give punches. So I think it’s more how is he going to handle it… I know I’m going to come at him. It’s how he’s going to handle it. That is the bigger question. Everybody knows I’m going to bring it to him. It’s like that.
“He has his own style, everybody has their own style. People can criticise him but everything he did till now he did perfect so he is a good fighter.”
Ngabu is from Belgium but for the last seven months has been training with Dominic Ingle in Sheffield. He is eager to make an impression in Britain too. “Because I watch boxing every day I knew it was the place to be because the gym is very good, very important. They make world champions in the gym,” he said. “Now I’m learning the Ingle way. It’s something new, I’m getting good at it now.
“Normally I fight with a lot of power. At the Ingle gym what I’m learning to box better. Before I was the type that want to go for the knockout, I put a lot of power in my punches, there I’m learning to just relax in the ring, just move, even the switch, before I never switched. Even in my last fight I did it a couple of times. It’s very good. The Ingle way is something special.”
Boxing in Britain is part of his masterplan, even if it is home turf for Okolie. “The ring is a ring. It don’t matter where it is. Me I would fight everywhere. In Belgium I didn’t really have the opportunities or the chances, now I have them,” he continued. “Now in the UK, for me it’s the best place to be as a fighter.
‘It’s how he’s going to handle it. That is the bigger question. Everybody knows I’m going to bring it to him’
“There [in Belgium] it’s very hard to be a boxer because when you say you are a boxer it’s like you’re somebody from the street. It’s not a very known sport there. I knew I had to leave there if I wanted to get to world level.”
He believes his next fight could accelerate him to that world title shot. “If the fight against Okolie comes, I beat Okolie, the next fight puts me in a good position, maybe the top five, then after this,” Ngabu explains. “After the next fight it can go fast.”