Feature | Oct 22 2018

Lawrence Okolie: ‘I need to adapt completely and show I can be extremely destructive’

After winning the British title at Wembley Stadium and headlining at the O2, Lawrence Okolie addresses the backlash to those performances
Lawrence Okolie
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

What are your thoughts on the Matty Askin British title fight now?

Before the fight Askin was ‘above British level,’ ‘he’s fringe world level’. That’s what everyone said, that’s what everyone believed and that’s what he showed with his performances. As soon as I beat him in a scrappy kind of affair, but I beat him [clearly]. Watching the fight back I couldn’t give him much of an argument for winning in the sense that he wasn’t active, despite the clinching and so on and so forth. He wasn’t boxing from range, he wasn’t doing anything really. It showed me that I was able to beat someone at that level even with my inexperience. Because I always find a way to win. But more importantly it showed me the stuff I need to work on, not just for my next fight or the fight after that but just for my career. It’s become clear that I’m tall, strong, powerful and I hit hard and I’m very difficult to cope with from range. Now I need to know everyone that I box is going to be diving towards my chest. In sparring I spar heavyweights, good fighters who are good enough to be able to be able to keep it long with me or try different stuff out. In a fight I think people feel my power and then make a desperate attempt to get on my chest. So it’s what do I do now? Now I know that, it’s happened to me twice, it’s what do I do now in training to prepare myself for the next time someone tries getting on my chest.

You must take satisfaction from winning the British title so early in your career?

 

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