Lawrence Okolie will be challenging Yves Ngabu for the latter’s European cruiserweight championship this weekend, as part of a stacked card headlined by the final of the light-welterweight WBSS between undefeated champions Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor.
The unbeaten Belgian finds himself in the profoundly unfamiliar position as underdog, despite amassing an impressive record of 20 wins with 14 knockouts.
Meanwhile, his British counterpart, Okolie, has virtually swept aside a slew of domestic opponents en route to attaining British and Commonwealth championship glory in a mere ten fights.
Despite his decidedly limited experience, the Londoner was selected for Team GB in the 2012 Olympics and has made similarly rapid progression as a professional – beating the likes of Matty Askin, Wadi Camacho and Luke Watkins – after prevailing over Isaac Chamberlain in a high-profile grudge match in February 2018.
Now boasting a perfect record of 13 wins from 13 fights, ‘The Sauce’ is physically strong, aggressive, powerful and rangy, and now believes he can take his career to new heights under the guidance of Shane McGuigan, who claims his charge has sharpened up considerably in the time they have been working together.
However, certain critics have highlighted his lack of finishing ability, propensity to hold and smother his work. Therefore, the Londoner now has the opportunity to make a statement of how much he has refined his skillset with an emphatic victory over someone like Ngabu.
Ngabu, who himself operates under the guidance of Dominic Ingle in the eponymous Ingle Gym in Sheffield, comes into this fight with his own aspirations of springing a surprise, and is likely to prove a stubborn customer for several rounds before Okolie’s sheer determination and superior athleticism enables him to win a hard-earned verdict on the judges scorecards.
Article by: Navi Singh
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