Feature | May 04 2017

Lawrence Okolie and the next wave of British talent

Lawrence Okolie on what it's like to spar Anthony Joshua, his own ambitions and the sweet sound of a knockout
Lawrence Okolie
Lawrence Okolie during the weigh-in  |  Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

“THERE’S a noise that people make when you knock somebody out.”

Lawrence Okolie is considering what he likes most about fighting. He reflected, “You know the job’s done. When you’re switched on, when you get a stoppage, when the referee jumps in or something like that, it’s not the same as when you get a clean knockout. It’s evokes two different emotions from the fans. So when you get a stoppage, it’s loud but not as loud as a clean knockout. So I think when you get a proper knockout, it’s a great feeling because it’s job done, the fight’s over, you won.”

He sits outside his gym, a sparse boxing club in an archway in Bethnal Green. He hasn’t linked up with a famous trainer but has turned professional under the guidance of Brian O’Shaughnessy, a gifted coach. “You have to trust their boxing judgement as well as their human judgement and I do with him,” Okolie said. In fact Lawrence is sure Brian will become one of the country’s more well known trainers as they advance together through the ranks.


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