Lawrence Okolie to defend WBO cruiser title against Michal Cieslak on February 27

Lawrence Okolie to defend WBO cruiser title against Michal Cieslak on February 27 Lawrence Okolie (left) retained the WBO cruiserweight title by dispatching Dilan Prasovic. Picture by EDDIE KEOGH/Matchroom Boxing 07 Jan by Ryan O'Hara Lawrence Okolie has a dance partner for his second title defense. The unbeaten cruiserweight titlist and The Ring’s No. 3-ranked contender will defend his WBO strap on February 27 against former title challenger Michal Cieslak at the O2 Arena in London. The 29-year-old Okolie (17-0, 14 knockouts), who hails from the London borough of Hackney, won the belt last March when he scored a sixth-round knockout of Krzysztof Glowacki before making his first defense six months later with a third-round destruction of Dilan Prasovic. There were rumblings of a possible unification fight between Okolie and The Ring Magazine cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis, who also holds the IBF title. However those plans were thwarted when the Latvian was ordered to make a mandatory defense against Jai Opetaia. Cieslak (21-1, 15 KOs), ranked No. 8 by The Ring at cruiserweight, has earned his second shot at a title. In January 2020, he was outpointed over 12 rounds by Ilunga Junior Makabu for the then-vacant WBC cruiserweight title in a bout that saw both fighters score knockdowns. However Congo’s Makabu took over the fight down the stretch to hand Cieslak his first loss as a pro. That said, the 32-year-old has since rebounded with back-to-back stoppage victories and is looking to become the fifth Pole in history to win a cruiserweight title. And while he has knocked out four of his last five opponents, Okolie’s resume is a step ahead. The 6-foot-5 powerhouse has knocked out seven in a row against a slew of better competitors, including three previously unbeaten combatants and a former beltholder. Okolie picked up a seventh-round stoppage over Yves Ngabu in October 2019 before a two-round blitz job of Nikodem Jezewski nearly 14 months later. His dreams subsequently became reality when he dropped Glowacki flat on his back with a scintillating right hand last March at London’s Wembley Arena to become a first-time titlist. Okolie and Cieslak will battle to decide who is the more legitimate knockout artist. We will find out on February 27. You may have missed: LAWRENCE OKOLIE DROPS DILAN PRASOVIC TWICE, SCORES THIRD-ROUND KNOCKOUT TO RETAIN CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE WBO CRUISERWEIGHT TITLIST LAWRENCE OKOLIE PUTS FOCUS ON DILAN PRASOVIC BEFORE ANYTHING HEAVY ARISES JOSHUA-USYK UNDERCARD: LAWRENCE OKOLIE SET FOR FIRST WORLD TITLE DEFENSE, CALLUM SMITH RETURNS GET THE LATEST ISSUE AT THE RING SHOP (CLICK HERE) or Subscribe Share this story Ratings | View All Top 6 Pound for Pound 1 2 3 4 5 6 Trending Steve Geffrard: Short notice or not, Joe Smith is a tough opponent for anybody Ilunga Makabu-Thabiso Mchunu official for January 29, Trevor Bryan added to card From the archive: The artistry of Pernell Whitaker Lawrence Okolie to defend WBO cruiser title against Michal Cieslak on February 27 Luis Nunez continues to twist his way up with a stoppage on ShoBox Schedule | View All 15Jan Joe Smith Jr. vs. Callum Johnson (ESPN/ESPN+) 22Jan Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magsayo (Showtime) 29Jan Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Liam Williams; Claressa Shields vs. Ema Kozin Instagram Facebook RingTV Official Product Shop Now!

Lawrence Okolie to defend WBO cruiser title against Michal Cieslak on February 27

Lawrence Okolie to defend WBO cruiser title against Michal Cieslak on February 27

Lawrence Okolie (left) retained the WBO cruiserweight title by dispatching Dilan Prasovic. Picture by EDDIE KEOGH/Matchroom Boxing
07
Jan
by Ryan O'Hara

Lawrence Okolie has a dance partner for his second title defense.

The unbeaten cruiserweight titlist and The Ring’s No. 3-ranked contender will defend his WBO strap on February 27 against former title challenger Michal Cieslak at the O2 Arena in London.

The 29-year-old Okolie (17-0, 14 knockouts), who hails from the London borough of Hackney, won the belt last March when he scored a sixth-round knockout of Krzysztof Glowacki before making his first defense six months later with a third-round destruction of Dilan Prasovic.

There were rumblings of a possible unification fight between Okolie and The Ring Magazine cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis, who also holds the IBF title. However those plans were thwarted when the Latvian was ordered to make a mandatory defense against Jai Opetaia.

Cieslak (21-1, 15 KOs), ranked No. 8 by The Ring at cruiserweight, has earned his second shot at a title. In January 2020, he was outpointed over 12 rounds by Ilunga Junior Makabu for the then-vacant WBC cruiserweight title in a bout that saw both fighters score knockdowns. However Congo’s Makabu took over the fight down the stretch to hand Cieslak his first loss as a pro.

That said, the 32-year-old has since rebounded with back-to-back stoppage victories and is looking to become the fifth Pole in history to win a cruiserweight title. And while he has knocked out four of his last five opponents, Okolie’s resume is a step ahead. The 6-foot-5 powerhouse has knocked out seven in a row against a slew of better competitors, including three previously unbeaten combatants and a former beltholder.

Okolie picked up a seventh-round stoppage over Yves Ngabu in October 2019 before a two-round blitz job of Nikodem Jezewski nearly 14 months later. His dreams subsequently became reality when he dropped Glowacki flat on his back with a scintillating right hand last March at London’s Wembley Arena to become a first-time titlist.

Okolie and Cieslak will battle to decide who is the more legitimate knockout artist. We will find out on February 27.