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The ambitions of Lawrence Okolie

Lawrence Okolie
In his own words Lawrence Okolie discusses how he changed his mindset and how he will, eventually, fight Krzysztof Glowacki for the WBO cruiserweight title

My mindset was so different [before boxing]. How I approached challenges and saw the world was different. It was a lot smaller and a lot more scary. Whereas now I’m bright eyed and ready to make it happen.

I think having my first few spars changed my mindset. Getting punched in the face and choosing to go back there, and then keep doing it again and again and then winning fights, coming across new, exciting people, I just kept growing. I’m still growing now.

What you do can make a massive difference to your mindset. Some people join the army and when they leave they show more leadership or ambition, whatever it is. I feel like your circumstances and what you decide to do with yourself, they definitely change your mindset.

I know [the WBO world title] is my next fight, no matter what happens. So regardless I need to be mentally prepared for that. It’s a nightmare [training at home]. But there’s an adjustment period. So obviously I’ve been keeping up with runs, I’ve got little bits of equipment. It’s not the same. So in this process I’m looking to build a home gym, to allow me to keep training in this time.

It’s very easy to say as a boxer you have to grind through anything. For me it takes an adjustment period and once I’ve figured it out I’ll be full steam ahead. The annoying part is you’ve got a familiar feel for camp; you get away from the house, away from distractions and you just graft. You’ve got to train hard, you’ve got a system in place. But now I can’t run on the treadmill. I can’t do certain exercises that I usually do. So I have to train with a  completely new style of training.

I’m more of weights kind of guy and anaerobic circuits as opposed to push ups, push ups, push ups. So that’s been a hard transition, a very hard transition. But you’ve got to keep doing what you can do.

I miss sparring and competing with other people. Because it’s one thing to push yourself, it’s another thing to compete against people and that’s one thing I’ve definitely been missing. It’s the competition aspect of training.

You’ve got someone like Shane McGuigan [his coach] who’s a perfectionist. I can hit the pads by myself, yes, keep in shape. But it’s different technique wise and stuff like that. It shows you how important it is to have a coach. It’s been very good training with Shane. He’s helping me with being explosive and being confident in just throwing power shots constantly. I’m very much a safety first kind of boxer, in spite of the fact I do have a good knockout ratio.

Lawrence Okolie
[Beating Yves Ngabu for the European title] helps in my life, it’s life-changing stuff. I’ve got to be thankful. [Even though it was later revealed that Ngabu failed a drug test] I won. That’s what it is for me. I don’t know what it is, it could be anything. It could be recreational, it could be performance enhancing. It’s wrong, it’s illegal obviously but for me when it’s all said and done I managed to get the victory. Hopefully once everything’s cleared up, if there’s a punishment needed he gets a punishment. I just keep moving. I managed to get the win, got the win by stoppage. I can’t linger too much on that fight.

I think [Krzysztof Glowacki] is a good solid fighter. World level for a reason. Being southpaw he’s able to create power and cause knockdowns from weird angles. Tough, game, been at world level. His only losses were to [Oleksandr] Usyk and [Mairis] Briedis… Adding myself to the list of people that’s beaten him, it’s a blessing.

I have bigger dreams than being the WBO cruiserweight champion but it will 100 percent be a massive achievement for myself on a personal level.

I think my power will hold up well [at heavyweight] especially with 10 ounce gloves on. But then so will their power. I’ll have to show other attributes. I have to be prepared for more tactics as opposed to overpowering and overwhelming people with my size and strength and athleticism.

I want to become unified and undisputed at cruiserweight and then move up to heavyweight and do a similar feat.

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