Krzysztof Glowacki has waited a long time to reclaim a title which many people feel is already his property.
The good news for the two-time cruiserweight titlist is that his old belt remains vacant. However, he will still have to fight for it, as the 34-year old Polish southpaw faces local unbeaten local favorite Lawrence Okolie (15-0, 12KOs) this Saturday live on DAZN and Sky Sports from SSE Arena, Wembley.
“Lawrence Okolie is unbeaten and punches very hard,” Glowacki stated during Thursday’s final pre-fight press conference ahead of their 12-round main event this weekend. “I am expecting a very tough fight from him.”
Tough fights at the title level has become a way of life for Glowacki (31-2, 19KOs), dating back to his Fight of the Year-level war with long-reigning WBO cruiserweight champ Marco Huck. Both fighters hit the deck, with Glowacki having the final say in an 11th round knockout in their Aug. 2015 war. The outcome left Huck tied with Johnny Nelson for most successful cruiserweight title defenses in making way for a new era.
Glowacki’s stay at the top lasted just 13 months before suffering a 12-round loss to Oleksandr Usyk in Sep. 2016. Usyk would go on to become lineal champion and arguably the greatest cruiserweight in history, or—at worst—a very close second to Evander Holyfield before vacating his reign in 2019.
The next round of cruiserweight elite saw Glowacki collect an interim WBO belt before his reign was converted to full champion status upon Usyk’s defection to heavyweight. That run for the veteran boxer from Walcz, Poland ended in controversy, suffering a 3rd round stoppage at the hands of Mairis Briedis (27-1, 19KOs) in their June 2019 World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament semifinal bout.
The fight became the subject of two separate appeals, the latter which saw the original outcome stand but with an order for an immediate rematch. Briedis instead opted to remain in the WBSS tournament, thus vacating the WBO belt for which the sanctioning body ordered Glowacki and London’s Okolie to compete. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic resulted in several delays in getting this bout over the line before finally setting aside a date of last December 12th.
Glowacki was forced to withdraw due to testing positive for COVID-19, with Okolie—a member of the 2016 Great Britain Olympic Boxing team which competed in Rio—settling for a stay-busy non-title fight on the show. Their long-awaited bout has finally arrived, with the visiting boxer ready to ignite a third title run even in the wake of a 21-month inactive stretch.
“Yes, I have fought the best but I am not taking Okolie lightly,” notes Glowacki. “I know what he brings but I will give him a tough fight which I am confident I will win.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox