“Back in the UK, back in the London bubble here at Wembley ahead of a huge night of World Championship boxing this Saturday at The SSE Arena, Wembley, live and exclusive on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN around the world. We have literally not stopped so far this year. It’s great to be back in London after watching one of the best fights I have ever seen in my life last week in Dallas between Estrada and ‘Chocolatito’. This week Lawrence Okolie goes for the WBO World Title against Krzysztof Glowacki. Next week we’re in Gibraltar for the big rematch between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin.”
Lawrence Okolie – Hackney, England – 15-0, 12 KOs – fighting Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO Cruiserweight World Title:
“I think that everything’s all about timing. It’s been a good ride to get here, and I feel like it’s my time to go out there and become World Champion. There’s nothing for me to be tense about, I’ve done all the training so it’s just about going in there and getting it done.
“All the other stuff is extras, I’m here to enjoy my life to the best I can. In terms of boxing, Shane will tell you my training record shows I put 100% every day in the gym which is why I’m able to go out and do what I do.
“The most important thing is having self-belief. Every boxer believes in themselves, but I take it to another level. Some people call it arrogance, but I believe if you don’t believe in yourself wholeheartedly, you’re not going to be able to get onto a stage like this and still shine. I’m really excited about Saturday and do what needs to be done.
“I’ve done everything I need to do in training, so whatever eventuality happens, happens. However, in my mind, that’s not going to happen. I need to show that I’m a level above even though my experience isn’t necessarily there.”
Shane McGuigan, trainer of Lawrence Okolie:
“His only two loses are Usyk and Briedis, he has mixed it with the top boys. He spoiled the party when Al Haymon brought Marco Huck over and he’s boxed away from home a few times and has always put on his best performances. We have to be lively and on it.
“Lawrence was lucky to get out on December 12, get a run out and this weird atmosphere being inside the bubble – seeing your opponent on a regular basis. It’s going to be lively night, but hugely confident Lawrence will come away with the victory.
“Lawrence hasn’t been tested yet, and he’s not going to be tested until he’s in with the top boys. He’s flown through the amateur rankings, went to the Olympics, done his thing in the professional rankings and cleared everybody out. This is his biggest challenge but if he can blow out Glowacki he’s got to get his props. People haven’t really appreciated how good he is.”
Krzysztof Glowacki – Walcz, Poland – 31-2, 19 KOs – fighting Lawrence Okolie for the vacant WBO Cruiserweight World Title:
“This is a privilege for me, I will fight strongly and I’m very confident for Saturday night. Okolie is an undefeated fighter so I’m expecting a very tough fight. It will be a strong fight; we can guarantee it so you cannot miss this one.”
Fiodor Łapin, trainer of Krzysztof Glowacki:
“I think it’s normal because when Glowacki was fighting for his title he was very self-confident, and experience was on our side, but we’ll see what happens. First of all, he [Krzysztof] will have to avoid those huge punches and then hit him hard. We’ll see how it goes.”
Lawrence Okolie will take on Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO Junior Heavyweight World Title on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev at The O2 in London on Saturday December 12, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in more than 200 countries and territories including Poland.
Okolie (14-0, 11 KOs) claimed the EBU European Cruiserweight Title with a seventh-round stoppage of the previously unbeaten Yves Ngabu in October last year, capping a successful 2019 which saw four knockouts in as many fights for the Hackney man.
Glowacki (31-2, 19 KOs) knocked out Germany’s Marco Huck in eleven rounds to win the WBO World Title in 2015 before widely outpointing Steve Cunningham in his first defence. He suffered the first defeat of his career against Ukrainian pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk in his next fight.
The Polish southpaw earned the interim WBO Title by decisioning Maxim Vlasov at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago in November 2018 but was stopped in three rounds by Latvia’s Mairis Briedis last year in a challenge for the full title.
“It has been a long and hard road to get here,” said Okolie. “I’m very excited and blessed to have this opportunity; I’ll be grabbing it with both hands. I will become Britain’s next World Champion on December 12.
“Glowacki is a great fighter and he is someone that I looked up to when I first started boxing. I believe he won the World Title the same year I was pushing to try and get on the Olympic team when I’d had 15 amateur fights.
“He’s a former two-time World Champion and has only lost twice to two elite opponents. He’s going to be my biggest test on paper as a professional. He is a consummate professional and will do everything in his power to win.
“I have to be on my A game, and I will be. I’m happy that throughout my career I have faced the best opposition that I could have at every stage. This is just another one of those.”
“I will retrieve my belt and I will bring it back to Poland,” said Glowacki. “I will become WBO World Champion for the third time in my career, there is no other option. I am prepared for a hard battle because Lawrence Okolie is big, strong and awkward, but the belt is mine and I will bring it back home.”
“In just 14 fights Lawrence Okolie has done it all and now it’s the moment of truth,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Britain has the chance to crown another World Champion but Lawrence has it all to do against a great fighter and former World Champ in Krysztof Glowacki and someone who has mixed consistently at the top level. This is going to be a huge night and a huge moment for Lawrence – we can’t wait.”
“The time has come for Lawrence,” said 258 Athlete Advisor Anthony Joshua. “This is a huge opportunity, one I know he will rise to. He is about to fight at the most elite level possible. He will prepare diligently and be ready.
“The whole team at 258 MGT are behind him. We are proud to have helped guide him inside and out of the ring since his professional debut to his first World Title opportunity in under 4 years.”
Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) defends his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO World Titles against Mandatory Challenger Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) on a huge night of action, with more fights to be announced soon.
In his first fight outside of his adopted home of Germany, the Serbian-born Huck has a chance to grab the attention of the American boxing fan.
Huck has ruled the cruiserweight division for the better part of the last seven years. He’s been a world champion in the weight class since August 2009. The German has just one loss in the division in his career. That coincidentally came against Cunningham in 2008.
Huck’s other pro loss came in a one-fight run at heavyweight when he lost a majority decision to former WBA champion Alexander Povetkinin 2012. In his last fight, Huck easily outboxed Mirko Larghetti en route to a unanimous-decision win in August 2014. After nearly a full year outside of the ring, Huck will fight in front of the largest worldwide audience in his career.
At 30 years old, he still has a lot left in the tank, but it seems he may be getting a bit bored with the sport. Per BoxingScene.com, the former kickboxer spoke with UFC President Dana White about a potential run in mixed martial arts down the road.
For now, he must focus on a formidable challenger whose primary focus is to take the longtime champion’s belt away.
Glowacki is largely untested. He’s had just six fights scheduled for more than eight rounds, and only his last two wins, a unanimous decision over NuriSeferi in January and a fifth-round KO of Thierry Karl in October 2014, have come against decent competition.
On Friday, he’ll be in the ring with arguably the best in the division. We’ll see which man proves to be superior.