Lawrence Okolie retains WBO cruiserweight world title with unanimous decision victory over David Light
Okolie dominant over gritty challenger Light
WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie returned to action after more than a year out of the ring; Okolie contained stubborn mandatory challenger David Light to defend his world title; “I’ll put it on the line against anyone,” the champion warned his rivals. “Come and find out”
Gritty challenger David Light had to endure some punishing power punches to go the distance with Lawrence Okolie. But Hackney’s WBO cruiserweight world champion Okolie was a dominant victor over 12 rounds. He took a unanimous decision victory and ultimately manhandled Light, hurting him in the late rounds of the fight but never dropping him.
Returning to the ring with a new trainer
Okolie was returning to action after more than a year out of the ring with a new trainer in his corner, SugarHill Steward. He was eager to serve a warning to domestic rivals, the other champions in his division and even of his own potential to move up to heavyweight.
An opportunity for a challenger
In Light, though he had a mandatory challenger who not only earned this opportunity but who had long targeted Okolie and his belt, preparing specifically for his chance to topple the Londoner and become a world champion.
Okolie asserts dominant from the beginning
During the introductions, even during the anthems, Okolie stepped into the centre of the canvas, ready it seemed to take command of the ring at the earliest possible moment. Much taller than his challenger, Okolie’s first attack was to jab to the body, then he sent his right hook into the New Zealander’s side, punching the mid-section to throw off his opponent.
Light struggles to gain momentum
Light had no choice but to try to burrow forward and get up close to Okolie on the inside. They grappled in clinches early on. But throughout Okolie was looking to hit. The right hand flew down and Light stepped back from it just in time. Still, Okolie launched his right at him in the second round. He hit it to the head, the body, then the head again. Okolie caught him flush too as the challenger tried to canter forward.
Okolie proves tough to fight
But Okolie is a difficult man to fight. His long arms wrapped up Light when he stepped in and he used his size to lean his weight down on the shorter man. The jab pawed at Light but then all of sudden Okolie’s right would flash over targeting the head but then, after the next jab, thud heavily into the body. While Light punched at him with single shots, Okolie made it hard for him to sustain any combinations.
Okolie finishes with a warning for future opponents
The champion did finish with a warning for any future opponents. “I will go in the ring and fight anyone,” he said. “If they’re watching this and they think ‘Lawrence is rubbish, I can do this, I can do that’, come and find out. “I’ll put it on the line against anyone.”