Lawrence Okolie faces Krzysztof Glowacki on Saturday night in London in what will be the biggest fight held domestically in 2021 thus far, as Briton Okolie goes for the WBO world cruiserweight title.

Awkward Okolie gunning for world title

Throwback to almost nine years ago and Lawrence Okolie was working in McDonald’s whilst watching Anthony Joshua win gold at the London Olympic Games. It was those scenes that inspired him to pursue boxing as a career, and with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio in sight, Okolie began to take his aspirations to become a prize fighter seriously.

Fast forward to 2021, and Okolie has competed at the Olympics, won the British and Commonwealth cruiserweight titles, and will now face Krzysztof Glowacki for the world title, all in the space of five years.

Not always a fan favourite, often jeered for his preferability to fight in the clinch and tie his opponents up, Okolie has had his fair share of critics since turning professional. But his record remains unblemished, with statement wins against British opponents Isaac Chamberlain, Luke Watkins and Matty Askin often referred to as his breakout performances, in which he earned the British and Commonwealth cruiserweight titles.

After four title defences in 2019, a two-round whitewash of Nikodem Jeżewski in December of last year would be his only outing in 2020 and his last test before a world title challenge this weekend.

In comparison to Okolie’s four years as a professional, Glowacki is heading into his 13th year within the pro game, with 33 fights to his name and two losses. To put that into context, his two defeats have come at the hands of two of the best cruiserweights of the past decade in former undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk, and three-time champion Mairis Breidis.

Can Okolie cut it at world level?

Glowacki himself is a former WBO cruiserweight champion and will be no stranger to the occasion on Saturday, whilst Okolie will be stepping up to world level for the first time in his 15-fight career.

It begs the question as to whether the test comes too early in the career of Lawrence Okolie. But he’s passed the domestic and fringe world level tests with flying colours up until this point, and some could argue it’s either now or never for Okolie at 200 lbs, whose six-foot five frame has little time left in the division.

The Briton is a 3/10 favourite to win on Saturday night, with the former champion Glowacki priced at 5/2 to get the victory on away soil. A draw, meanwhile, is priced at 20/1.

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