LAWRENCE OKOLIE is a big cruiserweight, a GB Olympian and a hard puncher. It’s counter-intuitive to think once he was the victim of bullying. For Anti-Bullying Week this week he has been visiting his local school. “I was bullied in primary and early secondary school so it’s a subject that’s close to me. I come in and speak to some of the kids in assembly, show that you can be bullied, you can be body conscious and you can change your life, become an Olympian, box on Sky, do whatever you want to do in life,” he said.
It’s been an eventful week in other ways. He had his next fight confirmed for December 13 at York Hall and expects to take on London rival Isaac Chamberlain in February next year. After the two confronted each other on the sidelines of a show last Friday, Okolie phoned promoter Eddie Hearn to insist on the fight happening as soon as possible.
“He likes to play this underdog, ‘nothing’s been given to me,’” Lawrence told Boxing News. But he points out, “It’s me taking the step up in the sense that I’m boxing someone that’s ranked above me, who has been pro for three years, so has developed a lot more experience in that time as a professional. He’s done 10 rounds. I haven’t gone past six. He’s been in the trenches. He’s gone six hard rounds with Russell Henshaw, four hard rounds with Martin Grainger. He’s gone 10 hard rounds with Wadi Camacho. He’s gone six rounds with Ossie Jervier. So in a sense he’s the favourite.”