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Lawrence Okolie vs. Krzysztof Glowacki: Okolie wins his first world title in emphatic fashion

lawrence-okolie-wins-wbo-title-matchroom-ftr Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Lawrence Okolie proved his credentials on Saturday, knocking out former titleholder Krzysztof Glowacki to claim the vacant WBO cruiserweight title at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

London's Okolie, who moves to 16-0 (13 KOs) with his maiden world title win, had been written off by many as a difficult fighter to watch but put on a mesmerising, inch-perfect show against his toughest opponent to date. It was a champagne performance after serving up mostly tap water thus far in the professional ranks.

Poland's Glowacki, who held the WBO belt until his last fight in 2019 when he was controversially dethroned by Mairis Briedis before the sanctioning body opted to vacate the title, struggled to throw anything at all in the first three rounds as Okolie demonstrated an excellent jab to put his superior reach to full use.

In round four, Okolie turned up the heat and connected with a number of powerful shots that drastically altered the 34-year-old's body language as Glowacki realised he was in for a tough night's work if he was to earn redemption for the nature of his title loss.

And in the early stages of the sixth, Okolie connected with a flush one-two, punctuated by a devastating right as Glowacki came in with his head down. The veteran looked unlikely to answer the count, and when he did return to his feet at eight, he staggered to his corner instead of towards the referee, who completed his journey to '10''.

In his dozen-and-a-quarter professional outings, Okolie has now won the British, Commonwealth, European and a world cruiserweight title. He said after the highlight of his career that he has only just begun.

"Obviously I'm happy," explained Okolie. "I feel blessed. I was really calm throughout the week. It's amazing to be able to put an exclamation mark on my life with a world title. Anything you want in life, if you believe, you can do it.

"I have to thank Shane for the gameplan. I was sure I would get to him, but Shane reminded me not to rush. I said I'd get it done between rounds five and eight.

"Four or five years ago, Eddie Hearn saw a boy from Hackney and said 'if you win a world title, I'll buy you a gold Rolex Sky Dweller'. Now I want my Sky Dweller. And he said I'd get another one if I unify, too!"

Matchroom promoter Hearn will be close to £40,000 out of pocket when he delivers Okolie his well-deserved Rolex, but was nonetheless over the moon with the nature of his charge's victory.

"That was one of the great performances to win a world title," beamed Hearn. "Glowacki is a former two-time champ and a top five cruiserweight in the world. Lawrence has had some stick but he's stepped in there with 15 fights to his name and put on a masterclass.

"We don't want to muck around. We want to unify the division then move up to heavyweight."

Okolie vs. Glowacki undercard results

  • Joe Cordina beat Faroukh Kourbanov via majority decision (96-96, 98-93, 96-95)
  • Anthony Fowler beat Jorge Fortea via third-round KO
  • Ellie Scotney beat Mailys Gangloff via referee’s decision (59-55)
  • Chris Billam-Smith beat Vasil Ducar via unanimous decision (99-90 x2, 97-92)
  • Ramla Ali beat Bec Connolly via referee’s decision (60-55)
  • Bradley Rea beat Lee Cutler via first-round stoppage

Here's how the action went on the night.

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It's over!

30 seconds into the sixth round and Okolie finds the money shot, absolutely dazing Glowacki with a lovely combo! Glowacki staggers up at eight and walks straight to his corner instead of addressing the ref. He's done! Okolie is the new WBO cruiserweight champion!

Round 5

Some crimson on the right eye of Glowacki as Okolie continues to have his way. There's a few more efforts coming from the veteran as he and his corner realise they're going to need to do something significant soon, but after five rounds it has been a shut-out thus far.

Round 4

Okolie steps up the quality of his punch selection in the fourth and lands a number of powerful shots. You can see in Glowacki's eyes just how well Okolie hits. The Pole is soaking them up for now, but it's another comfortable round for Lawrence. 40-36.

Round 3

That left jab of Okolie's continues to look very slick, and as Glowacki tries to throw a few serious shots the Brit does a good job of evading most of them. A very encouraging start from the Londoner, patient and to his own strengths. 30-27.

Round 2

Glowacki almost certainly sees the middle or later rounds as his path to victory, here. Once again, he throws very little and focuses on making himself very awkward to land on. Okolie connects with a few good shots and is two rounds up, but there's a long way to go.

Round 1

Okolie works the jab for much of a tentative first round, mixing in a couple of decent body shots as well. Glowacki doesn't throw much in that opening three minutes, as Okolie's reach looks like it will be as big a mountain for the Pole to climb as many predicted. 10-9 Okolie.

Here we go!

Ringwalks, done. Introductions, done. Referee's final instructions, done. There's the opening bell and we are underway!

It's time for the big one

Okolie. Glowacki. The vacant WBO cruiserweight title will be decided next in a truly intriguing match-up.

Cordina beats Kourbanov via majority decision

It's 96-96, 98-93 and 96-95, giving Joe Cordina the win via majority decision. Definitely closer than he would have liked, but to end the lengthy absence and get back in the groove was definitely the primary goal in that one.

We go the distance

10 rounds done for Joe Cordina and it went as many predicted it would. It should be a fairly comfortable scorecards victory for the Welshman, though his rust was certainly there and Kourbanov had his moments.

Chief support next

Joe Cordina ends a 16-month absence from the ring against Belgium's Faroukh Kourbanov. Can he remain undefeated despite the rust?

Fowler beats Fortea via third-round knockout

After close to nine minutes of tenative and mostly even boxing, Fowler makes the breakthrough with a knockdown on a stiff left late in the third. Fortea answers the count, only for the Brit to drop him again with the very next punch, a powerful right! The round ends with Jorge on the canvas, but the count continues and the Spaniard is unable to answer the count this time.

Top three bouts on deck

Anthony Fowler vs. Jorge Fortea is our next contest of the evening.

Scotney beats Gangloff via ref's decision

59-55 in favour of Scotney, who didn't offer much in the way of damaging offense but picked her lands on the French fighter superbly. Fantastic timing and counter-striking.

Next up

Ellie Scotney vs. Mailys Gangloff in a six-round women's featherweight bout.

Billam Smith beats Ducar via unanimous decision

99-90 x2, 97-92 in favour of Billam-Smith. Really? Anyway, I'd certainly say CBS did enough to win, but I'm guessing the judges scored the last four rounds based entirely on assumptions.

10 rounds done

We will go to the scorecards on this one, and after looking like he had Ducar in trouble halfway through, CBS really dipped at the end as his opponent rallied. In fact, I had it five rounds apiece with only the knockdowns putting Billam-Smith two points up. Let's get the official word...

Billam-Smith on top after six

He has scored body-shot knockdowns on Ducar in the fourth and sixth, but no finish thus far at the end of round 6. Billam-Smith has taken a lot more shots than he would have wanted, as well, but a stoppage win could be on the cards before we hit 10.

Next up...

It's Chris Billam-Smith fighting over 10 rounds against Vasil Ducar for the vacant WBA Continental cruiserweight title.

Ramla Ali beats Bec Connolly via six-round decision

Ali puts in a solid performance in her second pro fight to take the ref's scorecard 60-55 against Connolly.

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