Lawrence Okolie faces Michal Cieslak on February 27 in London, UK

Via Barry Holbrook: Lawrence ‘The Sauce’ Okolie (17-0, 14 KOs) will defend the WBO cruiser belt against 4th Michal Cieslak (21-1, 15 KOs) on February 27 live on DAZN from the O2 Arena in London, England.

2016 Olympian Okolie, 29, has been thinking of moving up to heavyweight for his next bout but will instead defend his second belt for the WBO cruiser belt against Poland’s Cieslak.

Okolie promoter Eddie Hearn appreciates Cieslak, 32, rated as a tough quality operator in the department.

The matchmaking room boss wants Okolie to fight for unity

Hearn says he wants Okolie to clear the cruiser weight class before moving to heavyweight, but we’ll see if that happens.

Ideally, Okolie would play against one of the cruiser champions for this matchup, but there isn’t one. If that continues after Okolie’s 6’5 ″ fight with Cieslak, he’ll need to decide if he wants to wait.

Maybe Hearn hopes that Canelo Alvarez will stick with the cruiser class and make it his home if he continues his plan to gain weight next May to challenge the WBC belt.

If not, Okolie should move up to heavyweight right after his fight with Cieslak as it will likely take him over a year to become the undisputed cruiser champion, which is a waste of time.

Boxing pictures: Lawrence Okolie faces Michal Cieslak on February 27 in London, UK

The only defeat of Cieslak’s career was at the hands of Ilunga Junior Makabu in the war for the WBC cruiser class, which was vacated two years ago on 31 January 2000.

Makabu barely overcame Cieslak, winning the 12th round unanimously by 116-111, 114-112 and 115-111. The fight took place in Kinshasa in the Congo.

COVID has frozen the merge wars

“Yes, I think with COVID and the delay on everything and the missions, it froze the unification,” promoter Eddie Hearn told. Talksport on Lawrence Okolie.

“Goulamirian versus Egorov, it was a fight he was supposed to fight the winner. Briedis is required, and Makabu is waiting for Canelo. So we have to go out.

We were planning to switch to heavyweight for this fight, but then when we beat Cieslak, a real world championship contender, I was happy with that fight. It was by far the toughest fight of Lawrence Okolie’s career.

“But this guy [Okolie] awesome, he’s a demolition machine and I believe he can surpass everyone in the team. But we have to do it before he moves to heavyweight because once you go up, there’s no going back,” Hearn said.

Okolie will need to beat these champions to become undisputed:

  • Mairis Briedis – IBF
  • Arsen Goulamirian – WBA
  • Ilunga Junior Makabu – WBC

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