By Elliot Foster
Lawrence Okolie remained undefeated –– but he went the distance for the first time.
The cruiserweight, from Hackney, went six rounds with Blaise Mendouo at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London.
Okolie scored a knockdown in the fight, exclusively live on Sky Sports, as part of the JD NXTGEN card, but was forced to await a verdict for the first time since turning to the paid code.
Mendouo, who is now 3-4, was on the wrong end of a 59-55 decision, but deserves enormous amounts of credit for giving ‘The Sauce’ his first real test since making his debut.
Okolie undoubtedly has talent but the performance arguably left more questions than answers heading into a potential fight with Isaac Chamberlain, the undefeated former Southern Area champion, at some point in the near future.
Earlier in the card, Joe Cordina impressed to move to 4-0, scoring an opening round blowout of Jamie Speight.
The fight was set as a step-up for the ‘Welsh Wizard’, who only made his bow in the paid code back in April, but he dispatched of his foe with consummate ease after the referee stepped in following a damaging culmination of punches to Speight, who slips to 15-13 (2 KOs) in defeat.
And Ted Cheeseman scored a disqualification victory over Francesco Lezzi.
It was a dominant outing for the undefeated ‘Big Cheese’, who is the current English champion in the super-welterweight division, and it ended with the referee halting the action midway through the third of eight scheduled rounds before throwing Lezzi, who had previously only been stopped inside the distance once, out after several misdemeanours.
Cheeseman had been hoping to defend his belt on this card, but moved to 10-0 in far easier fashion.
Meanwhile, Felix Cash returned with a one-round stoppage win over Fernando Heredia in a scheduled six-round fight to move to 6-0 and William Webber outpointed Sonny Whiting to win on his professional debut.