Lawrence Okolie crushed Krzysztof Glowacki to be crowned the new WBO Cruiserweight World Champion in just his sixteenth fight at The SSE Arena, Wembley and says he feels elated to be called a world champion.
The unbeaten 28-year-old from Hackney had emulated the likes of Tony Bellew, David Haye and Johnny Nelson, who previously held world crowns in the 200lb class.
“I don’t think it has sunk in yet,” said Okolie. “It’s nice hearing you say it. I’m happy. For me, it’s more of a relief. The potential has been there for over a year. I’m happy to get the victory. Now and forever, I’ll be a world champion.
“I was just really focused on putting on a good performance. I’m physically very strong and punch hard. I’m very fit, so I can win on just those attributes at a certain level. I really focused on not rushing any shots because he’s very dangerous with counter shots and he’s very heavy-handed. His jabs were very solid, so I had to be very meticulous in keeping the distance. It was a good clean performance.
“All of the British former world champions wishing me good fortune really touched me – shout out to them. From every run that I ever did, losing all of that weight, deciding to take a risk, having my parents support me financially when I couldn’t afford to get the bus down to the gym for training. To see it all pay off with a world title is a dream come true – never give up. We can just go on from here. I need to keep pushing myself to prove myself as the best.”
Now Okolie wants a unification with IBF world champion Mairis Briedis.
“I feel like I would like to fight someone like Briedis next,” said Okolie. “I think out of the champions, Briedis is the one that I would most like to go in next with.
“That would be unified in 17 fights and 42 career fights. Obviously any champion that Eddie can get, but the one I would be looking for is Briedis.”