Lawrence Okolie has promised a destructive performance when he enters the ring for his first-ever world title fight on Saturday night.
The undefeated knockout artist will finally get his hands on Krzysztof Glowacki as the pair go toe-to-toe in a behind closed doors bout at Wembley Arena for the vacant WBO cruiserweight belt.
It brings an end to an arduous process for Okolie, who was originally set to fight Glowacki prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, before their rescheduled clash on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s title defence against Kubrat Pulev was called off at the last minute, after his opponent tested positive for the virus.
Okolie now has the chance to finally claim the prestigious belt, though Glowacki, a former world champion, resembles a significant step up in competition.
Regardless, the 6ft 5in cruiserweight giant insists he is prepared for whatever comes his way.
‘I feel good,’ Okolie told Sportsmail. ‘I’m fit, strong and I’m in a really good place mentally. I’m ready to have a fight.
‘My preparation has gone well. It’s really just been the same as usual: running, doing weights – I feel really good.’
With victory, he would equal his long-term sparring partner and now manager Anthony Joshua, who also won his first world title in his 16th fight, when he knocked out Charles Martin in two rounds back in 2016.
Astonishingly, when Joshua – who is only three years Okolie’s senior – was winning Olympic gold at the London Games in 2012, Okolie was working at McDonald’s and weighed 19 stone.
Okolie himself went on to reach the last-16 at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 just three years after taking up the sport, and though he acknowledges his swift but gruelling journey will intensify the rewards of winning a world title, he insists Saturday is most certainly not the end of the road.
‘I’ve done what needs to be done,’ he said. ‘I’ve made sacrifices, changed my whole mindset and way of thinking and living.
‘It’s obviously going to make it sweeter, but I’ve still got so much left for me in the game, so I don’t think like that.
‘I’ve always set my goals as being a world champion and I’ve got so much in this sport that I want to achieve.
‘I’m looking to win on Saturday and then go straight into a unification fight, that’s just where I’m at mentally.’