Lawrence Okolie has not had much experience as a professional or an amateur, but Eddie Hearn believes he can clean up the world cruiserweight division in 18 months before moving up to heavyweight if he beats Krzysztof Glowacki in a “life-changing” fight in Saturday night. 

Okolie faces Glowacki for the vacant WBO cruiserweight title at the SSE Arena, Wembley, on Saturday. It is a title the 34-year old Pole has already has held twice already, while Okolie will only be having his sixteenth professional fight, while he had fewer than 30 amateur bouts. 

But Hearn believes that in experience will not be a problem. 

“It is no secret with Lawrence that the end goal is to move up to heavyweight, it is the most lucrative division in boxing,” Hearn said. “He has the power, the size to do that in time, but I feel he has a lot of unfinished business in the cruiserweight division, although he has only had a small number of fights compared to these seasoned world champions.  

“This fight will tell us a lot about Lawrence Okolie, because Glowacki is a world-class fighter. He’s a top five cruiserweight in the world, he’s been a world champion and I’ve just got the feeling that Lawrence is going to absolutely demolish him.  

“If he does that is such a huge statement I don’t see the need for many voluntary defences, because I only see him at cruiserweight for another year. I see him beating everybody in the division. I see him beating {Arsen} Goulamirian (the WBA champion), Mairis Briedis is a fantastic fighter, that is a huge challenge, but I believe he can beat him.  

“Illunga Makabu is a dangerous fighter as well, the WBC world champion, but a lot in terms of the pace we move Lawrence will be determined by the outcome on Saturday. If he can demolish Glowacki, and I really believe he is going to demolish him inside 4-5 rounds, I would like to see him try and clean up all of them belts in 18 months.” 

Hearn says that Okolie’s commitment to constantly approve is the reason he, and so many others, believe he is destined for a big future. He is managed by Anthony Joshua and Hearn says similarities in the pair. 

“Lawrence reminds me so much of AJ,” Hearn said. “After the Ruiz fight AJ took full accountability for his career and himself to say I’m going to make these changes for myself now because I think this is what I need to do. He’s obsessed with his own development. And you think about what he achieved before he put that into place? The encouraging thing is Lawrence has put this in place before he’s become world champion.  

“The only regret is there will be no fans because I would have loved to see him win a world title in front of fans. But that will come. He’s ticked all the boxes and it’s nice when you’ve made an investment in a fighter that they take it seriously.  

“He’s going to make a nice few quid next Saturday but what comes with the victory will be life-changing, in terms of the financial. We love the sport, we love the competition, but we also have to remember we’re in this sport to make money and get the financial rewards that come with the danger.  

“I’m looking forward to helping him change his life, set up his life and family, the next generation of Okolies. And that all comes through victory.” 

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.